Creating with mindfulness and Intention: Shades of Pink turns 1

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Photo’s by Joel Ismont

Happiest of Birthday’s to my shade babes (a belated one to say the least, which is due to me getting my shit together for myself and for this blog). The best gift my blog could have possibly received was the major support and love that comes in the form of views and the positive words sent to me through comments and messages every day (even when I’m not posting, which absolutely warms my heart in a major way). I can’t say thank you enough. All of this love and support has kept me driven and put me in the position to monetize off of my blog. Thus far I am putting all of that money towards making Shades of Pink an even better experience for all of you. Through the ups and downs of being a new up and coming lifestyle blogger and being a twenty something here’s what I’ve learned during my time away:

The theme of “intention” seems to be really big in my life right now. I have learned in a few different aspects of my life, that nothing will change or improve until you move with intention. I used to think that mindfulness only applied to coping with anxiety and dealing with self when you are in a state of stress. But that is far from true. Being mindful opens your eyes to how you are living and coping out in the world. I am a firm believer that the mind and the body mirror one another. They send the conscious messages about what is going on in your subconscious. The subconcious is our ultimate truth underneath it all. Some of us are more in tune with this truth than others, naturally. But I think at some point or another that mindfulness beats our ass so crucially at some point or another that we have no choice but to shut up and listen. That without a doubt is mindfulness at it’s finest.

As a creative, being mindful (or not) affects your business and your brand both negatively and positively when we let it.  But furthermore it is a gateway drug to emotional intelligence (the best drug there is..let me tell you). I’ve kind of taken some time for me in the midst of figuring out who I am as a creative and what I want to do with my blog and my brand. Increasing my mindfulness and actually being able to identify what it is that I am feeling about myself, the people around me, and what I am doing with my life has given me an even bigger plan for Shades of Pink than what I initially started out with. I started with a small goal for myself and my potential, and now I have a plan. After getting myself together mentally, emotionally, and physically I can set my intentions. I know more often than not the cluttered mess in my mind and lack of time management is what keeps me from being consistent in my projects.

I had to remind myself the other day that when I first began working on my blog last year I actually had way more on my plate than I do now. What made me slow down was the pressure I felt to be the best at everything I was doing instead of being mindful of what MY best was. Understand this: THERE IS A DIFFERENCE. What feels good to me and what is standard for society and those we feel the need to impress are two totally different things. What you think is being required of you is not YOUR best. That’s someone else’s standard. That’s someone else’s best. What is expected of me by my peers, loved ones, and what society is projecting on to us is not necessarily going to be what I want for myself in the grand scheme of things. I have multiple driving forces in my life that cause me to spread myself thin and opperate like a chicken with my head cut off. For some creatives like myself, having the time to focus in on one thing is the hardest part.

It also doesn’t help that the world tells us what success is and then we feel disappointed when the success or achievement we reach doesn’t make us feel full. Through this realization and through excessive amounts of FOMO (fear of missing out). I know what my best is and I know what success means to me. Success and how we define it is a very personal thing. I have a better understanding of what is priority in my life right now because of falling on my ass a few times and feeling disappointed. It’s necessary. It’s necessary to go through the motions so that we can understand them fully. The hardest part can be figuring out how to verbalize what it is that we are feeling. For the longest time I’ve felt like I’ve been working way harder than those around me, yet I was feeling like I was missing the mark. My achievements were no longer doing it for me. The bigger picture was: I was falling short somewhere.

I’ve busted my ass for a credential (for teaching) and for my current grades with in my actual major (mass com) that made me feel like complete shit afterwords because of lack of sleep, little to no self care, and ignoring my mental health just to get an A in a class I don’t really care about when it’s all said and done. Then in the midst of that my blog posts are far few and in between and so is my YouTube content. I had a social life that was completely lacking (but is slowly but surely becoming more of a priority again), I had no time for a significant other, and I was barely spending time with my family. But during this process of going through the motions and realizing how I felt, underneath it all I felt burnt out and spread thin. I felt like I was being mediocre in all the other areas of my life that were important to me and what I feel my true purpose is.

By no means am I saying screw your education. I know a degree is worth a lot these days and it can save your ass on many occasions, as well as being an asset to financial stability. But I’ve learned that to me, my worth is not determined by a degree. Attaining a degree does not come before my mental health, and most importantly it will never mean more to me than this right here. With the understanding I have now, there are a lot more moments where I am facing a school v.s. self dilemma, and I choose myself. I choose to get the sleep I need and turn an assignment in a day late when it’s necessary. I choose a little less study time so I can get myself together after a hectic day. Sometimes I’m going to do C+ work so that I can cater to my blog. But I’ve learned that it’s okay for me to do so. If anything, its NOT okay to run myself into the ground for a grade. A degree will help further what I want to do but it’s not the end all be all for me. I’m no longer afraid of getting a B or a C. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I won’t be the best at everything. But as long as I’m the best in the areas that are everything to me, I’m able to feel full.

With less than a year left of college I know where I stand with what I want and with that being said, my priority is myself. I won’t keep spreading myself thin and missing out on what is important to me. I am challenging myself to make more time to get a better balance on what works for me. I think that’s something all 20 somethings are searching for. How do we balance school, work, passion projects, friends and family, and a love life without losing our minds or spreading ourselves thin? Listen to your body and follow your heart. I would have laughed at that staement a year ago because I am always this “oh so logical, everything has to add up and makes sense” head ass, as I’d like to say. But the mind and body follow one another. If something doesn’t feel right (like your body telling you it needs to rest) listen to it. When your heart tells you something isn’t right listen to it. Work on what is lacking especially when you see signs of it wreaking havoc in your spirit.

I don’t have all the answers as to how to balance life and a busy schedule successfully, but I’ve decided I am dedicated to figuring it out and sharing it with you. I know it starts with intention. I know it starts with being mindful. I know it ends with emotional intelligence and being able to identify how you feel so you can identify what actually works for you and makes you feel whole. This comes with doing things that aren’t fun sometimes, so that you have time to spare. It will come with not being able to please everyone. It will also mean unlearning whatever you thought success was and redefining it for yourself.

As I start my journey, I want to begin with getting back to what I love most. I’m pushing myself to write even more often than before. I’m challenging myself to post every Sunday. I’m challenging myself to share a lot more of this journey of figuring out how to navigate life through all of its craziness. I’m challenging myself to be vulnerable. I want to end this with saying thank you to my friends who push me and are on my ass about me posting and continuing what I started. I also want to remind everyone that it is never too late to change how you think and process the world around you and start new habits. If you have a new habit you wish to create for yourself: Start today. Start where you are. At this very moment do something that will further move you into the direction you need to be in. Even if it’s a small task, get started. Fall back in love with what you do and prepare to have to make the effort to fall in love with it over and over again. The grass is only greener where you water it. To everyone who continues to read and share S.O.P thank you for your love and support. Happy Birthday Shade Babes !

20 something, stressed, and doing her best,

Nori <3

An Open Letter to Women

Art belongs to Hippy Potter

The past couple of weeks have been hard for me. I’ve sat on whether I should share my slightly traumatic experience or not or if I was ready…and after sitting on it a while I think I am. It’s more than needed and much bigger than just me. Me and one of my closest friends decided to go out a few weeks ago on a Friday. We specifically were going out because my social anxiety has stopped me from going out completely. I’ve never been a home body but for the past 6 months that is exactly what I’ve become. Something inside of both of us knew going out that night didn’t feel right but since we felt we had already went out of our way to get ready then we might as well.

We spent the night going to a few bars and we stopped at an art gallery. At the last bar where we were at the longest, we had a two drinks and talked to some people we knew. The last thing I remembered was talking to a mutual friend and after that I remembered nothing. 2 drinks in and I am suddenly in the car with my friend and her car is stuck on some train tracks in an area I couldn’t even identify. That part I only remember briefly. Apparently I got upset that my friend started freaking and being completely incoherent (just like me) and I wandered off in the middle of the night having a bad trip off of god knows what. Never in my life had me or my friend blacked out off of only 2 drinks. It was obvious something was slipped into our drinks just based on how we were acting. The fact that all of that had to be relayed back to me and I couldn’t remember anything or who I was around after that point is scary as is.

Luckily I had enough sense to call my mom after wandering off and my friends were able to get to me. The night resulted in me injuring myself and I have tissue damage from a high ankle sprain and I’ve been on crutches for the past two weeks. But the worst part was my sense of peace that has been taken away and the confusion. I am 90% nothing was done to me and that we left at a good time. But reality has set in, in a way I would never wish on anyone. Of course as a woman you know that things like this are serious and can happen to anyone. But you don’t truly think it can happen to you until it does. I always assumed date rape drugs were only slipped into drinks at house parties and Frat events. Never did I think while at a bar with tons of people there, that someone would try something like that in such a crowded place. In a sense I blame myself for being so naive.

But on the other hand I blame the intentions of men. I blame parents that never enforced respect or consent. I blame society for putting out silent messages to men that they are entitled to a woman’s body. I’ve been sad and I’ve been angry. I feel violated and yet I feel grateful. Grateful because I don’t fully know what the intentions were going to be behind that person putting something in my drink. I don’t know how that situation would have turned out had we stayed any longer than we did. I’m glad something told us to leave. But I am saddened to know that this is common. It makes me sad that there are many other girls who weren’t as lucky as me when it happened to them. This situation is so much bigger than me and has opened my eyes immensely. This further emphasizes for me how important it is as women for us to stick together. I have a brother, and he was just as angry as I was when I woke up the morning after. This is why it is so important for more men to be feminists. We need your support. We need good men as allies to call other shitty men on their entitlement and cruelty.

I tried to tell myself that this was no big deal because I turned out fine. But I would be lying if I said I wasn’t jumpy while out or that my anxiety hasn’t been through the roof. It would be dishonest of me to act like I didn’t lose sleep over this some nights or like that gap in my memory of that night doesn’t haunt me. I’ve blamed myself for what happened to my friend and for leaving. I’ve blamed myself for being so trusting. But quite frankly, fuck all of that because I should be able to go out and have fun and feel safe. I shouldn’t have to feel like there is a target on my back when I’m out with a friend to have fun and enjoy myself. Unfortunately that’s the world we live in and I had to learn the hard way that I need to go to more extreme measures of protecting my well being than I had been. I’m okay with rising to the occasion but I ask of all of you to do the same for yourselves and each other. I hope this is something we can all learn from.

To all women,

I sincerely will never sleep on the possibilities of what we go through/could potentially go through again. Never again will I turn a blind eye to when another woman may be in danger or need help. I ask for all of you to check in with your fellow women when you see them out? Pay attention to your surroundings for yourself and for the sake of other women. Tell other women about potentially harmful men. Speak up about your abusers, tell us who they are. I personally would never judge another woman or shame her for coming forth to tell me that a guy I know is known to rape or assault women. We need to make it easier/safer for one another to reach out for support or help. I ask this of all of you because only we truly know what we go through. We read the body language of each other so well. When you see another woman being harassed check on her, walk with her, have 911 on speed dial. Be a source of light and protection in a world where a girl can’t even safely go out with her friend and get a drink. To the men who speak up, who protect women, who respect women, and their consent I salute you and have nothing but love for you.

Sincerely,

Nori <3

The “New” Woman

 

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[Photo does not belong to S.O.P]

Today’s Woman, especially the younger women like myself are a whole different breed of woman. I have watched us evolve and progress in the same ways that Anthropologists would describe human progression. In anthropology the human race is described as one that evolves and adapts to it’s ecosystem in ways that are a means of survival. And let me tell you the women of today have adapted honey, we got our foot on these men’s neck’s and the savagery is at an all time high. Consider this post as some food for thought for my ladies and some insight for the fella’s. Just as we have adapted I think there are a lot of men who are going to need to evolve and adapt in order to understand and pursue the new age women of today. Your WCW is a 20 something bad ass who has a playlist full of Rihanna, Megan Thee Stallion, and Saweetie. You can’t play her because her intellect is just as sharp as her winged eyeliner. She has 2 sources of income, is obtaining more than one degree, has standards through the roof, and can play the game (and calls when she see’s it) just as well as you can if not better. She embodies finesse. Men either hate her or admire her for it. But she’s so into what she’s got going on that she can care less. Fact or fiction needless to say,  I can guarantee you know a girl like this or similar.

From my experience and what I’ve seen on social media in the last 3-4 years the official rise of the New Woman came to be. Game was being exchanged and it became clear that women (a lot but not all) were no longer accepting men’s nonsense and are definitely unafraid to do men how they tend to do us. All the time I see us ranting and tweeting about new expectations that we’ve recently created and I love it. The bar is being set high   and we are expecting men to rise to the occasion. But what’s really interesting is how many men I see and know who supposedly praise women with a boss like mentally, yet don’t know what to do with one when they get her. If I had a dollar for every time I saw a guy tweet about wanting an ambitious woman who’s, independent, funny, does her own thing, and has her priorities straight I would be on somebodies Island getting a tan instead of writing this post. But the part that doesn’t add up is that men don’t seem to read the fine print of what a woman like that comes with. They say they want those things but ridicule everything that this kind of woman does. A woman that independent is one of a different mind set. She’s liberated and free, doing everything that men do and A LOT of you hate it. Being that I consider myself to be of this new woman era I understand it and like I always do I’m here to give you the real spill on how we feel.

So here’s the hard facts… The mind of a woman in 2018 is set up a little something like this :

We don’t owe you anything

As mean as that sounds we figured out a long time ago through trial and error (and from the mistakes of those before us) that until a man makes a solid commitment to you he doesn’t feel like he owes you loyalty or consideration of any kind. We’ve molded ourselves to be the same way given that we have options just like you do and double standards are for the birds. There’s also a good percentage of you who play mind games and don’t know what you want and we don’t have time to make blind commitment on something that isn’t a for sure deal. If you know what you want claim it and be clear or be left behind. We won’t wait for you to act right and we won’t beg you for the attention we deserve. We learned our worth years ago and added tax to it. Get with the program or simply get left.

There’s also a lot of men in this world who feel entitled. They know it’s a mans world and love to remind you through the way they act and speak. Today’s woman know’s she doesn’t owe you or anyone a damn thing. Not her time, conversation, or her body. She’s not afraid to tell you or put you in your place. Aggressive DM’s and treating her regular will get you blocked. But here’s the real drag (with love of course): as much as you want a confident woman you shame her endlessly for carrying herself that way ESPECIALLY if she happens to not be interested in you. Is her horse suddenly high because it actually is?  Or is it because your fragile masculinity doesn’t allow you to believe that she just might not be interested in you ? It’s very possible that you don’t meet her standards. Quite contrary to the majority belief that nice guys are being ignored for bad boys, athletes, and music artists with money, some of us look into the simple things like how you treat others, your interests, and how you choose to spend your free time ( some of you need to stop playing fork knife so much and get a real job). If this applies to you get it together, get out your feels, and get on her level. Maybe her attitude isn’t the problem and maybe you’re a crappy person who genuinely needs to work on yourself.

Submission is DEAD

Now I don’t mean this entirely because when committed there is always some sort of submission in matters of the heart. But as far as domesticated submission goes today’s woman wants a 50/50 exchange or one that works in a way that doesn’t leave us drained. Love is no longer enough to make us drain ourseleve’s taking care of a grown ass man. We expect a man that can take care of himself but sometimes allow us to as well. We want a partner, a boyfriend, a soulmate NOT a man child. We’re expecting to receive the same amount of effort and consideration we give out. We aren’t for being quiet and living with the purpose to only please. We aren’t for being dominated and told what to do and we DEFINITELY are beyond stroking fragile ego’s and tending to insecurities that have nothing to do with us…well most of us are. I know from my own experience in relationships that my tolerance for BS is quite low and from what I’ve been seeing a lot of other women my age feel the same way and carry themselves with that exact energy. If I don’t like something I’m going to voice it. If you’re lacking I’m going to let you know. For one, honesty is the greatest display of respect and care for someone but ultimately no one has time to hold their tongue and sacrifice their own happiness.

I’ve learned that you can love somebody deeply but all the love in the world isn’t enough to make that person right for you or treat you in the ways you expect. I’ve learned that I need to be cared for in certain ways, I need space to be myself, and I need peace of mind. If I find that a relationship I’m in doesn’t bring that I’m not sticking around to wait for a lost cause. I come into every situation presenting myself as I am and laying out on the table what I require. More times than not someone I meet will tell me they respect my ambition and my priorities and then be upset that I can’t dedicate all my time to them. I can make it clear that I like my independence and freedom but that can mean nothing to someone who is insecure and believes a woman is supposed to stay home and not have a life outside of him. For the record, men like that are very real and need to understand we want a boyfriend not a father. I already have a dad and if he isn’t telling me what to do why are you? Relax big fella. If you don’t trust me to handle myself accordingly when I’m out with my friends don’t waste your time with me. The moral of the story is we won’t walk on egg shells to please you. The insecure are never pleased. That kind of submission is a full time job with no pay (basically an internship)… LOL BYE AF.

Our Worth: Tax + Shipping and Handling

The girls know their worth and we aren’t here to play with you! It has sky rocketed and we expect to be treated like the Queens we are because we know what we bring to the table. We love ourselves. We work hard, pamper ourselves, and shine all on our own. We’re making business moves, taking care of our mental health, and planning for the future. You think we’re just gonna allow anybody to walk into our life and disturb our peace, give us acne from stress, mess up our credit, and leave us with unnecessary insecurities ? NO! We bet on ourselves these days. Being alone is less of a liability than being in a miserable relationship with someone who doesn’t measure up. Some of you swear it’s social media that has made us expect so much but I firmly believe a lot of you will find any excuse to not give a girl your full effort. If she was really asking for too much what did you get with her for? The option to leave her be and let her be happy was always there.

Women have a way of bringing out the best in you when you let us. Some of it is for our gain but a lot of it benefits you because we see the potential. But some of the trash behavior that men display have ruined that for the majority and we know much better now than to fall for just potential. We understand that the male ego (especially of young men) is through the roof. It’s statistically proven that men who are more impressionable (as in allowing their woman to have influence on him in certain areas) are a lot happier than those who are always putting up a fight and making excuses for why he can’t be the man that she is asking (or requiring) him to be. We see that the majority isn’t impressionable and we no longer want to fight for what we want or have to fight to mold you so we’ve bossed up and learned to buy the car (potential man) as is . We aren’t buying fixer uppers in 2018. I’m waiting for my luxury car with all the detailing and extras.

Goal Digging

Oh you thought you were gonna occasionally stress us out and give us headaches for free? That was cute. Somewhere along the way I’ve watched us women decide that the labor of love isn’t free. Some have taken this to extremes and expect a man to be a meal ticket while some of us know how hard we work and also know what we bring to the table and expect someone equally yoked. With the way we take care of men emotionally, are always supportive, understanding, and helping them build their dreams we decided we want to be taken care of too and sometimes that’s financially. Amber Rose said it best: if you can ask me to lay up with you and please you the least you can do is pay a bill or even fund my dreams if you’ve got it like that. The way women are wired if we love you and you are in need or we see something that peaks your interest we try our best to help or we go out and get it for you.

Some of us want someone to be successful with rather than someone who mooches off of us and lands us in debt. We love a financially responsible King! Your finances are not the end all be all, but if you can manage money and be smart about your spending and investments it says a lot about you. Some of us want someone like that to learn from and grow with. But a lot of you swear that make us a gold digger. I think it’s quite the opposite and holds you guys to a standard, which a lot of you hate. I will acknowledge that there are women who are out here just for the money. To them a man is a check  and that’s something I don’t agree with because at the end of the day we are all people who deserve genuine love and respect. In a sense it’s dehumanizing and says a lot about a woman to be impressed solely by money. But there are a lot of men who accept that and allow themselves to be finessed by a pretty face and a nice body. Money won’t buy you love but it will get you some temporary attention if that’s what you’re into. A GOAL digger understands that your financial state is the icing on the cake and not the whole thing. Understand the difference.

Sexual Freedom

We aren’t here for your double standards and the fact of the matter is women love sex just as much as men. We no longer place false idea’s about sexuality into our heads that somehow separate what we can do from what men can. We move just like you do in the sense that if we want sex to be just sex, it will be just that. If we want to be monogamous, we will. If we want to be promiscuous, we will. A lot of you find that to be wrong or make a woman less valuable but yet you cheer on your womanizing friends who have been heaux’s since they figured out what a condom was in the 7th grade. We aren’t having it anymore and a lot more of us are beginning to judge other women way less for it. Where men get off thinking that their homie with the same amount of bodies as mileage on his car is somehow not as shameful as the girl he thought was hot but didn’t date because  she decides to have casual sex while single..I don’t know. It’s ass backwards and once again proves how fragile the male ego is.

According to social media if you even breathe wrong as a woman you are deemed a heaux (I love spelling it this way, isn’t it fancy? Posh af). So we live it up and do as we please. I’m sure I’m already being slut shamed just for writing this because apparently if you stick up for or understand the dynamics of another woman’s sexual choices (which may be different than yours) you’re suddenly a heaux too. Society tells men to do what they want, who they want, and when they want but shames women for it. Quite frankly we no longer give a damn and if my fellow sis is Netflix and chilling with someone new every month and she’s happy with it (and being safe) I don’t care nor does my opinion matter. A lot of you are lost in the sauce thinking that we have to act the way we would in a relationship when single. You’re even more lost for thinking that people are going to behave in the same ways they would in a relationship when single. It doesn’t make sense and when you aren’t committed to anyone but yourself you get to make those executive decisions without considering anyone. News Flash: women have needs.

 

I would like to leave a bit of advice for men who I find to be incredibly intelligent but tend to treat everything so black and white. All of your analyzing and opinion making comes in the form of a math problem most times. Not everything has a damn formula and things are not as simple as you make them. Dig deeper. Take the time to understand that your opinion isn’t as important as you think it is and it isn’t the only one that matters. Today’s woman doesn’t care if you like that we wear makeup or not, we do it for us. We don’t care if you love natural hair, or weave, or lace fronts because when we come to slay it isn’t for you. We want to feel good (or we know that another girl who hates us will be present) when we go out. We also value the compliments of women much more than yours and feel they are more genuine and less conditional. We think you’re lame when you make physical comparisons and pit us against each other. If our sexuality is a problem we won’t deal with you and natural selection just weeded out the weak. We won’t be controlled, ridiculed, or disrespected. But we’ll accept love, attention, and consideration from Kings who think past their ego, and who’s masculinity and confidence isn’t so fragile. One who can check himself and change his toxic ways of thinking to be a better man and be a genuine ally and supporter of women (never forget than you came from one).

To the women, continue to live life by YOUR rules. Someone will love you for it. Whether any of this was relatable for you or not do whatever makes you happy. Carry yourself in ways that make you feel proud of who you are. Live for YOU rather than for the likes of men or being “wifey material”. The person who deserves you and understands you will meet your standards and rise to the occasion. There are good men in this world who will give you the moon and the stars. I seent it with my own eyes. The man who’s worthy of you won’t be perfect but he will rise to the occasion and he’ll expect things of you as well that will provoke growth and instill confidence within you. He won’t dim your light or be jealous of your success. He won’t ask you of things that you can’t give and he will never try to change you. He’ll respect the person you are and add to your strength rather than preying on your weakness. Don’t ever compromise yourself or discount your worth. Don’t ever settle or allow loneliness to make you accept far less than you deserve. Last but not least, if he’s pushing 30 and still lives with his mom…run.

xoxo,

Nori <3

Girl Code

Photo does not belong to S.O.P

 

 

I know to the majority girl code is following a set rules or ethics we have created amongst each other especially when in a friendship with one another. Like we all know that when your best friend has to go to the bathroom at a party that means you’r going with her. There’s also codes about not dating your friend’s ex’s, and not letting your friend set her drink down at a function. But I think there is a more important girl code that isn’t as common or acknowledged. There is nothing that bothers me more than when I scroll through social media and see girls that I know fake supporting the girl power movement. By that I mean supporting the idea of sisterhood and uplifting women rather than putting each other down, which society ultimately conditions us to do.

There are a lot of us (some who I personally know but will not name….you’re welcome boo) who preach to the high heavens about womanly unity but are extremely rude in person, slut shame the girl who chooses to live her life differently, and act as though certain women are below them. What is even more disgusting is that it’s women who have “clout” or some kind of influence and they use it to make themselves look good to a wider audience when they don’t actually live by it in real life (Yeah I came to drag on a sunday).

A couple months back I wrote a piece called “For The Ladies” that was inspired by me seeing someone I knew being tore down on social media because of a post another girl made making fun of her looks. It was clear the girl had a separate issue with her and chose to go about it in a public way and make things personal. With the way social media is set up once someone with a good following says something about you and it’s seen everyone wants to join in on the “fun”. For some reason when us women have an issue with one another we take a shot at each other’s looks and status. I also notice this common theme of women I know who make it seem as though they feel good about themselves and have it all together. They go about making those aspects known by putting down the next woman.

I’m all for this movement of being confident and loving yourself but I believe there is levels and certainly some extremes to this. A confident woman can acknowledge herself to be all that she is without needing to put the next woman down. For me to have written such a sensitive poem and harping on sisterhood I really had to check myself as well. Do I make comments that put me on a pedestal and shame other women? Am I acting like the woman I would want to be friends with? Am I being a support system or a helping hand to the women that needs it like I talk about in my writing?

The answer to some of those questions were both yes and no. Since writing that piece I can honestly say I’ve checked my own behavior and even looked into my own insecurities that tend to show sometimes (because yes I’m human, and I’m here to tell the truth and not just drag y’all). It’s not the easiest thing to do but I realized I had to change my habits if I expect anyone else to change. If I want to see more of us support each other I have to start with myself. With that being said, Girl Code Rule number one should be: BE A DECENT GIRL, DAMMIT.

Tell another girl she’s pretty and mean it, support your friends, and support other women in general (businesses ran by women, women musicians, artists, and producers, women who run non-profits ALL OF IT), stop shaming each other, stop looking at other women as competition for male attention, Stop making comparisons. All of it is lame and unnecessary. I’m still working on myself day by day but I make it a priority to support my fellow women, compliment them, encourage them with my words, and MIND MY BUSINESS. That one is super key. I REFUSE at this point in my life to shame another woman or judge her. What the next woman does and how she lives has nothing to do with me as long as she is not harming herself.

The choices another woman makes with her money, her body, and other life decisions are not up to me and ultimately do not affect me. As long as someone isn’t hurting themselves I’m straight and hoping for their happiness and their highest good. I feel a lot lighter living that way. Being catty isn’t fun and knowing my confidence stems from me being the baddie that I am (without comparison or implying the next woman isn’t) is the purest form of confidence that there is ! My confidence cannot be touched or depleted.

My confidence is organic and not built on the shame of other women or another woman’s short comings. It cannot be made or deflated by others, it’s source is just me being me, and not wanting to be anyone else. I got to a point of not liking to see another human being with the same struggles as me hurting. Women have it tough enough being that we are held to high appearance and physical standards. We are always being ridiculed and also being silenced when asking to be considered in the same way as our male counterparts. We need each other! We are a force to be reckoned with when we come together. The love, beauty, and brilliance we radiate when together is unmatched! I want to see a lot more of it.

I’m not saying all of us are going to be nice to each other all the time. I’m not saying you have to be nice to the girl that stole your boyfriend and talked badly about you. I’m not telling you to allow disrespect (If someone tries you, by all means go off sis). What I’m telling you is to be decent. Stop passing judgement on women you don’t know, stop shaming women you don’t know, stop allowing yourself to be mad about someone else’s separate and individual lifestyle choices, stop being bitter and jealous, stop comparing yourself, stop competing for the attention of men, stop the fake girl power and be about it. It’s a lifestyle. It’s a choice. Every day I am choosing to be the girl I would wanna be friends with. Every day I am keeping in mind that even though I’m that b***h, the girl next to me in line is possibly that b***h too and it is no threat to my existence. Spread the love and prosper ladies !

xoxo,

Nori <3