Me Too. 

Warning! What you’re about to read may be graphic and if you do not do well with trauma beware.. 


This is my story. 

It was May and I was 13 years old. I was in detention, I forget why. We were in a classroom I was with 3 other boys who were my age at the time. 

While we were in the classroom they kept messing with me. Trying to touch or “feel” on me. Maybe it was funny at first and I did not feel as if I was in danger but I was starting to become annoyed. 

I would move their hands, tell them to leave me alone. “You Know we’re just joking Tiff”. Yeah I knew that right. But I was still super uncomfortable. Especially since I had no interest in any of them. Boys will be boys right? 
They apologized while we were in the classroom. I don’t remember how or why but we all ended up walking down the hallway together. Talking, being middle schoolers. We slowly approach the boys restroom. I didn’t think anything of it. One of them said they were going to the bathroom. I walked on, all of a sudden there are hands on either sides of my arms grabbing me. I was caught off guard so I couldn’t quite get loose as I was pulled into the bathroom. At this point I’m confused. What do they think they’re doing exactly? 

The first guy who went to the bathroom starts to pull his pants down. I’m sure you can figure out what he started to do from there. As the other two grab at my pants to try and get them down, my hands are locked at my pants line hanging onto my pants line and belt loops with everything I’ve got. 

This persisted for what felt like forever. I guess I’ll never really know how long I was in that stance. I was an athletic girl. Stronger than most boys and girls so I knew that they wouldn’t succeed in getting my pants down. I was not scared because I knew the second my hand slipped or they got an advantage everyone was gonna get punched, or kicked. If I had to I was ready to fight. 

At this point I am debating with my fight or flight instincts. My grip is loosening and I’m getting tired. This could go two ways I could sit here and pick a fight or I could pretend I’m about to let go and run.

I chose the latter. I yanked one arm. Not yet I couldn’t get loose. I tank a few more times. It takes a moment but finally I loosened their grip and ran back to the classroom. The rest of the day is a blur until after school that day when I finally told someone what happened. 

Fast forward. I’m not sure how soon or late it was that I was in a police station telling them what happened. It was strange because the officer kept asking me if I would be willing to do a lie detector test (of course I replied yes) and she said are you sure? I said yes that is fine. Well they never did so that and I just wanted the whole thing to be over.

My parents would ask me what exactly happened and I would keep it short and simple, nothing happened, I’m fine and I don’t wanna talk about it. 

Whenever friends or family ask that was my response for the past 9 years. Until recently I had forgotten the details of what happened until someone asked me about it. It was like I relived it again and realized just how lucky and blessed I was to be able to get a way without ensuring anything more than being touched unwillingly. 
I guess I made a near escape and it could have been worse. It would be years before I admitted to myself the danger that I was actually in and the effect that it would have on me. I was closed. I didn’t speak to anyone on the details until now. I managed to erase it from my mind and pretend that it wasn’t a big deal. 

But it was. It was a big deal because attempted molestation and rape is never okay. It is a big deal because I have both a daughter and a son who look up to me. It is a big deal because maybe there’s someone, some girl out there, or woman who could learn from my story. Even though I did get away people need to be held accountable for their actions. At that time I didn’t care about the consequences that they would face. I just wanted to pretend it didn’t happen so that’s what I did. I didn’t agree to testify in court or anything. I didn’t want to. 

Looking back on it I’m sure this was a set up. How would they both grab my arms and pull me in the restroom without first planning out what would happen. How would the other guys pants be down the moment I was pulled in the bathroom if it hadn’t been previously planned. At the time I didn’t realize it nor did I even think about it enough to realize it was a set up.  

Today I want to share my story because it is unfair that people don’t believe women the first time they say something happens. I also want to share because just because you’re strong and can fight and get away doesn’t mean there aren’t long term consequences that you’ll face. 
I hope that if you have been in this situation or similar ones that you will choose to hold your abuser accountable. Don’t be scared and don’t bottle it up inside either. Find someone you are comfortable speaking with. I know you don’t want to but it really is healthy. It shouldn’t have taken me 9 years to figure this out but it did. 
If nothing else I hope this inspires you to always do what’s right and to never be afraid to tell your truth and hold people accountable for their actions. You may be able to help the next person from being taken advantage of. 

As always much love. 

T. 

You Have More Power Than You Think 

When you eliminate limitations in your mind you set yourself up for the ultimate success and self fulfillment. The power in the human brain is unmatched. We only use 10% of our brain power. 

You have the power within you to do and be anything you want to be. If you believe in yourself you’re limitless, no matter who may doubt you, when you know deep inside of you that there is purpose and power then outward forces and opinions carry no weight.

On the other hand if you don’t believe in yourself and listen to people who are negative then you stand in the way of your own power, happiness and success. All the power you need is within you, even if you don’t want to admit it. Sometimes it’s hard for us to admit that we are in control because the moment we do that we have to start asking ourselves some serious questions. 

Cultivate the power within you. Feed it, nurture it, grow it. You’ll know it is at its prime when others thoughts about what you can and can’t do don’t effect you. You’ll also know because you’ll see bigger goals for yourself, bigger expectations. Things that seemed trivial or challenging before will now be doable to say the least. You will know that you can tackle on anything just because you are the powerful and you have it within you to do it. 

Sometimes it may seem like life has a hold of us. Finances, time, relationships. You have to turn these situations around and get back in control of your life. Maybe you cannot control the fact that your insurance company upped your premiums. What you can change is your reaction and your plan to get everything done and paid for moving forward. That is where the power is. 

Recognizing your power in a situation is the first step and it may take some getting use to if you have thought of yourself as powerless in the past. Once you recognize how to take control of a situation the rest is up to you. 

When you’re in an argument or disagreement you may show you have the most power by not responding to something that once angered or triggered you. 

Power comes in different forms and varies from person to person and situation to situation. 

One thing is for sure, you have all the power you need inside of you to control your life! 

I’m Vegan Now

I am becoming a vegan and you should too! 
Have you guys heard of that new Netflix documentary called “What the Health?” It is kind of buzzing right now and of course I had to watch it. Actually I came by it on accident and heard about it from a few coworkers. It’s about an hour and a half long and BEYOND interesting. If you know me, I LOVE documentaries. 
So it is about everything we eat and the effects that our food leaves on our body. It also talks about what actually causes cancer, heart disease and diabetes. This documentary is what inspired me to cut meat out of my life for good. It wasn’t too hard considering I had done away with red meat and pork a few months before my decision to become vegan. 
So what is a vegan? Vegans eat not animal product what so ever including dairy. The whole diet consists of plant based foods, legumes and beans. 
How did I start? I ate the same for the first few days excluding meat, eggs and dairy from my diet. Meat definitely was not the hard part. I have a harder time giving up eggs and ice cream. Then I sort of realized that I needed to do a little more research. Whenever I’m trying something new or starting a new project I do extensive research, meaning I google everything and watch YouTube videos. 
I found that I needed to incorporate certain foods or plants to my totally plant based diet. Veggies burgers, organic fruits and veggies, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, chia seeds and flax seeds all became apart of my grocery list. I also started going in the organic food isle (I had know idea this was a thing) and ended up falling in love with the all natural non-gmo cereals, tofu and beans. They even have veggie nuggets (my kids love these). 
I buy vanilla almond milk and snack on strawberries, bananas and blue berries. I add Chia seeds and Flax seeds to everything. Avacado is pretty useful too. The most important thing is seasoning and how you prepare it. The plant based diet doesn’t have to be boring. Especially since it will leave you healthier, stronger and feeling better. 
Why I did it? Health. My health, my children’s health, and health habits for generations to come. If my children grow up eating healthy they’ll teach their kids to do the same. Americans are so unhealthy because we’ve been taught that way, family barbecues, pizza night and eating what ever we want when we want just because we “can”. 
I buy and eat lots of rice, even before becoming vegan I loved rice. I add whatever veggies I want into the mix. It’s also fun to eat Taco Salad (without meat). Certain brands of cereal and energy bars are also helpful. It’s also a good idea to try different sauces to give your food flavor. 
If you’re thinking about becoming vegan you should! Do it on your own terms and do what’s best for you. Some people go cold turkey and for others it is a process and that’s okay. Don’t listen to the negativity, do some research and gather facts. Talk to a nutritionist. 


People may complain that it’s more expensive to buy organic, but when you’re dealing with what you eat and what sustains your health and wellness it’s always smart not to go for cheap and easy. There’s also the huge myth that you can’t get your nutrients from plants alone. Not only can you get all your nutrients from various plants you will start feeling better and eliminate the risk of serious illness like diabetes, cancer and heart disease. 

I mean, we are what we eat! 

Above all do what’s best for you and remember it is a process! Veganism isn’t something super easy to do. It takes a little more thought an research to prepare a meal. Cutting vegetables, making sure everything is seasoned right and having an understanding of what nutrients you need and where you can get them. It is definitely a learning process so don’t be too hard on yourself at first. You’ll get use to it. Soon you’ll be finding “go-to” meals and figuring out what foods work best for you. 

When Enough is Enough 

Have you ever been in a circumstance with a close friend or loved one who didn’t always treat you with respect? Perhaps they weren’t always truthful or even betrayed you in the past. Maybe the bad mouth you when you’re not around, or put you down when you are around. BUT, they’re your friend right? Your family, your significant other? Someone who isn’t supposed to do things like that to hurt you. 
You want to escape that sulky feeling right? You’re in their presence and you don’t know what exactly may spew out of their mouth this time or when the next verbal disagreement will be. Sometimes they may make you feel down or even have you rethinking your worth and abilities. 


When do you draw the line and say Enough is Enough? They’re your parent but they aren’t always parent like. Betrayal hurts, it hurts like hell because it always comes from those we love. If it didn’t it wouldn’t be as painful. There’s something extra wrong about a friend or family member doing wrong towards you versus a stranger. 
You hope in these people. You make excuse after excuse saying, “Oh she just had a bad day” or “maybe it is my fault”. Well I just wanna tell you that you deserve respect and honesty no matter who the relationship is with. You don’t deserve to be emotionally, physically or verbally abused by ANYONE but definitely not by people who you love and trust. 
I know what you’re thinking, “But he is my Dad!” 
“She’s my friend she doesn’t really mean it” 
It’s still hurts though doesn’t it? First of all you need to tell this person how you feel. You don’t have to be disrespectful, just let them know that you’re feelings are hurt or that you’re realizing the relationship or interactions you share are NOT healthy. 


Perhaps that doesn’t work. They keep up with the same old tricks. Manipulation, deceit, verbal or emotional abuse and maybe it gets even worse than that. 
Enough is enough when they first give you the sign that they won’t listen. They may tell you that you’re over reacting and need to calm down. 
Your mental health should always come first even if it is your own family destroying it. You deserve to be your best self, sane and happy. You may not even realize the damage done until you remove it and see how free you feel. You’ll always love them, always be respectful, but it’s more than okay to draw the line on communicating and even being around that person.
It’s gonna take some strength and courage but you can do it. You’ll be healthier this way. Just please always remember to ask yourself, “When is enough, enough? 

Why I Traced My Ancestry

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I’m sure you’ve noticed the growing popularity in those DNA kits and tracing your history/ancestry. If not, all you have to do is google “DNA kits” and you’ll see an array of companies you can use for this process.

Some are skeptical. I get it, but if you go into the research and know anything about biology or DNA you’ll realize this is no scam or gimmick. Just like figuring out Paternal DNA you can get your DNA tested against different groups of people across the world to see if you have similar DNA as those groups of people. I’ve tried two of the DNA companies but eventually I plan on trying all of them because they offer different services.

So I’m here to share with you my experience results and reasons for why I love this fairly new technology and think it is sooo important.

Being African-American we don’t really know where we’re from. Africa, but that is about it. The questions that surrounded and filled up my thoughts were ones such as, what countries? What is the culture? What are these people like? I really wanted to connect with myself and have an understanding of who I am and what fundamentally makes ME. I’ve always been interested in Biology and genetics so this is right up my ally.

I used Family Tree DNA first and secondly I used Ancestry.com

With Family Tree DNA I used a mtDNA test which is way more in depth than most and looks for a specific marker on your mitochondrial DNA which is only passed down by mothers. Everyone has it, but only women can pass it to the next generation.

When I got my first results back it traced my mtDNA to the L1B halo group. Which is the first group of people after “mitochondrial eve”. HOW COOL IS THAT? My lineage is around 180,000 years old on my mothers line in Central and Eastern Africa. Modern day countries such as Ethiopia and Kenya.

I wanted to also know the more recent parts of my ancestry too. The mtDNA tests the most ancient parts of your line and civilization.

The test I did with Ancestry DNA tested my recent genetic makeup percentages.

 

So I’m 78% African!!!! Woohoo! My top two African percentages are Cameroon/Congo and Ghana! I was ecstatic because I have been planning a trip to Ghana and felt as if I was Ghanaian.

There are also low trace regions on my DNA which just means these ancestors were further back, percentages and they’re not completely sure I share DNA with these peoples. Nigeria 18% (how cool is that?), Benin/Togo 4% Mali 3% as well as Africa North. Senegal, Africa South Eastern Bantu and South Central Hunter Gatherers are all lower regions. My DNA from those places isn’t recent enough for a higher number.

Next region. 21% European? I knew I had European in me just didn’t realize which countries. I happen to be 12% Irish (What?) 4% British, 3% Italian (I love Italian food) and 1% or less Europe West and Iberian Peninsula. I thought I would be more British and I had no idea about Irish. (How could I anyway?)

How awesome is all of that? I just love how much of a mixture I have in my DNA. Not to mention that 1% or less Middle Eastern popped up on there too. That was a shocker!

Why does all this matter?

It isn’t only important for African Americans to know their roots, everyone else should as well. Even if you know your family is Irish or Mexican, whatever the case you may get a surprise and find something you didn’t know. America is the melting pot of the world but our own uniqueness and differences matter and make us valuable individuals who bring different cultures and experiences to the table.

I’m especially proud to be from these African regions and belong to one of the oldest halo groups. At least I know my genes will be passed on for another 100,000 years (haha). Assuming we don’t wipe out humanity before then. I loved this experience and what it taught me. Considering my European DNA didn’t get there by choice I’m not as happy about it, but it is still apart of me which I acknowledge and learn from.

Remember if you don’t know who you are and where you came from how can you know where you’re going?

If you’ve ever considered doing one of these you should! Don’t be scared or nervous. Especially if you have no idea where your ancestors were from (like me). We should embrace our individuality and encourage others to do the same.

For more in depth information test your mom, dad, siblings and grand parents or even cousins. We get all different kinds of genes at conception you never know who got what!

Why Loving Yourself Can Save Your Love Life

Life Writes with Tiffany

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I’m sure you’ve heard how important it is to love yourself before getting into a relationship. What exactly does that mean? How do we do it? What are the benefits of knowing how to properly love yourself?

Relationships are nothing short of tricky and challenging at times. Given you’re with a good person who you accept you would probably flourish. There is nothing like LOVING yourself to secure that any relationship you have won’t be a waste of time.

Few Reasons To Learn To Love You Before Getting Serious

1. Standards, Morals and boundaries
2. Self Fulfillment
3. Confidence & Stability are attractive
4. Healthy Relationship

Standards. When you love and respect yourself you ultimately lay out standards and boundaries in a relationship. You don’t have to be too high maintenance to set out how you would want to be respected and treated in a relationship. This is definitely…

View original post 369 more words

Why Loving Yourself Can Save Your Love Life

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I’m sure you’ve heard how important it is to love yourself before getting into a relationship. What exactly does that mean? How do we do it? What are the benefits of knowing how to properly love yourself?

Relationships are nothing short of tricky and challenging at times. Given you’re with a good person who you accept you would probably flourish. There is nothing like LOVING yourself to secure that any relationship you have won’t be a waste of time.

Few Reasons To Learn To Love You Before Getting Serious

1. Standards, Morals and boundaries
2. Self Fulfillment
3. Confidence & Stability are attractive
4. Healthy Relationship

Standards. When you love and respect yourself you ultimately lay out standards and boundaries in a relationship. You don’t have to be too high maintenance to set out how you would want to be respected and treated in a relationship. This is definitely one of the most important concepts in loving yourself

If you have no boundaries for what you will allow and tolerate you may end up in a relationship with someone who treats you horrible. Which of course will inevitably end in a lot of heart ache and eventually a break up.

Set your standards and boundaries early on! Go into relationship knowing that you will not tolerate certain things. An example may be someone who argues, yells and degrades you. Make it known that you have no toleration for that treatment!

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Self Fulfillment. You need to appreciate and like yourself in order to love yourself. Make sure you know you up until this point in your life. Get to know yourself and identify and appreciate your own qualities and uniqueness. Once you understand what you bring to the table you’ll be less likely to accept anything that could potentially hurt you emotionally or physically in a relationship. Not only will you save yourself from pain, but you will also make your significant other more attracted to you.

Confidence & Stability. Sorry to break it to you but insecurities can kill a relationship, even a good one. Not only is confidence attractive but it is necessary for a healthy relationship! Insecurity leads to doubt and fear. Two things you really don’t need in your new relationship.

Take time to fall in love with yourself. Gain that sense of confidence. Maybe you need to start telling yourself how awesome you are and go soul searching inside of yourself to figure out what you love about you and where your confidence stems from.

Healthy Relationship. Last but not least make sure your new relationship has good communication, trust, RESPECT and forgiveness. Don’t be with someone who is too hard on you. Always refer back to your boundaries and standards of what you’ll tolerate to be clear about the way you want to be treated. Be happy and whole before the relationship and make sure this person ADDS to your happiness like never before.

Never be with someone out of loneliness!

Hope this serves you well. Whether you’re single or in a relationship, always remember the importance of loving you!

 

 

Poetry|Don’t You Know?

Don’t you know how unique you are

In all the years there has never been one quite as exquisite as you

Don’t you know how beautiful you are

Your beauty transcends barriers that would have never been broken

Don’t you see how valuable you are

More rare and precious than the finest jewel

Don’t you see how necessary you are

You existence is crucial to this universe, your creator believed so

Don’t you see how intelligent you are,

Your ideas, your thoughts and your mind are all working together to create and invent only the finest things known to man

Don’t you see how brilliant you are,

Look at what you’ve done, everything you have become, you never grow tired of doing what you have to do

Don’t you see how loving you are,

You care for even the tiniest creatures in all of creation and your forgiveness reaches the farthest depths

Don’t you see how loyal you are,

Your friends depend and count on you, you are their rock

Don’t you see how important you are,

This world needs one of you because there has never been and never will be another

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BABY, Your Hair is Good Hair!

Baby, Your hair, is GOOD hair!

Have you ever heard someone say that a certain type of hair is “good hair” and another is “bad”?

I know you’ve heard it if you’re black and probably have heard it even if you’re not. Well I’m here to tell you that your hair is GOOD hair no matter how kinky, curly or hard to manage it may be. It’s good because your creator endowed you with it. You make your hair, your face, smile eyes and even personality!

How shallow is our society anyway, to say that one person’s hair is better than another. How can hair be bad? Hair is an object, it cannot do anything except grow from our scalps. So in all honesty it is neither good or bad. It’s just HAIR! Personalities, attitudes and people can be good or bad not hair!

So wear your luscious, and beautiful good hair. Love it, embrace it because it is a part of you. We’re all so unique, everything about us differs from person to person.

Next time you hear someone saying this educate them on the reality that hair doesn’t not make a person. Hair is neither good or bad. Rather than looking at something and superficial as hair to judge a person by, how about you judge them by their kindness, humility and ability to forgive.

Why have we become so superficial? Looks are everything in today’s world. What happened to honor, charity, intelligence and so on?

I was watching a video on Facebook (of course) with a mother who took her 6 month old son to get a hair cut because he had “bad hair”. This baby was in the chair screaming and crying while the mother attempted to hold his head still.

I’ll be so happy when we can reach the point where we no longer give priority to the physical aspect or appearance and can appreciate people for who they are and what their uniqueness brings to the world. Until that day, don’t forget… Baby you hair is good hair, your hair is BEAUTIFUL and unique just like you!

 

 

 

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Are You Present in the Moment?

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How to be Present in the MOMENT

We’ve all experienced those times where we are kind of on auto mode. Whether it is at work, driving or in the comfort of your own home. You drive somewhere and don’t remember the actual drive, or you go through your daily tasks not really paying attention to the world around you.

Being present in the moment is practicing mindfulness.

We need to practice being in the moment because you never know when will be your last moment.

You may be wrapped up in the future, your daily tasks for tomorrow at work, or what you’ll say to someone, or even deciding how you’ll get an important project done. Face it, we are all busy in different ways.

Our kids, friends or significant others value our time with them. In our society technology and social media distract us from being present when we’re with our loved ones.

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Here are a few steps you could take to help with being mindful:

1. Put your phone away, or turn it off
2. Ask meaningful questions to catch up with family and friends
3. Take a deep breathe and really look at your surroundings and what is going on around you
4. Be aware of what you’re eating or snacking on
5. Take time to do daily deep breathing in attempt to prepare or reflect on the day

Mindful eating is important as well. Too often we are caught in our favorite TV show and grab a bag of chips while in auto mode, not really thinking about making a healthier choice.

Being more mindful will help you to be healthier, achieve your goals, and have more time for what REALLY matters.

Once you set a few goals each day towards mindfulness, it will become a part of you. You’ll do it automatically and begin to really reflect and enjoy life.

Mindfulness or being present in the moment really gives our lives meaning. Too many things in our lives are taken for granted, people too, and life is way to short to waste anytime.

What could you change in your life or every day routine to become more mindful of your surroundings?