Over on my Instagram, I have talked about how I am getting more into ~ cooking ~ while at home. Obviously, I am an adult and have been cooking for myself for years now, but I am spending more time learning about food and cooking techniques. With that, I’ve also been trying lots of new recipes. I’m sharing some of what I’ve been making, including notes on anything I did differently than the recipe called for. Everything is linked below via the recipe title -- let’s get into it. 

Pad See Ew
I have been making this pad see ew for years now and I feel like I’ve got it down. It’s really in my arsenal of recipes. This was a hit over on the gram. When I first started making this recipe, I used the oyster sauce, but I don’t super like oyster sauce, so I have phased that out of my sauce. I also use agave syrup instead of sugar as I feel like the liquid sweetener just mixes better in the sauce. I love garlic, so I use a ton, probably 3 to 4 cloves. It’s also easy to swap tofu for the chicken, just make sure you drain it properly, and do a quick pan fry before assembling everything.

Toasted Coconut French Toast with Blueberry Compote
This is like your classic french toast, but upgraded! I recommend canned coconut milk because it has a stronger coconut flavor than the coconut drink that comes in a carton. Blend a can of coconut milk with water, cinnamon and a bit of sea salt to thin it. Really let your bread soak in the mixture and make sure you’ve got some coconut flakes on the bread. Then cook on the stovetop as usual. Cook down your fave berries and add more coconut flakes for serving. Aaaaaand you’ve got yourself the yummy brunch you’ve been missing.

Greens on Fried Bread
This was a super quick and yummy lunch. I did not have celery or fennel, but decided to still rock and roll with it. I also used collard greens because that is what I had. Funny enough, this time around, I used less garlic than called for and went with 5 cloves because I did not want to use all of my garlic on this one dish. 

Potato and Soy Chorizo Frittata 
The link takes you to a great post on how to just generally make a frittata. I love mixing the Trader Joe’s soy chorizo with potatoes and spinach. This time, I decided to sprinkle some cheese on half of it last minute. This is one of my favorite breakfast/lunch things to prep. 

Roasted Beet and Garlic Hummus 
Growing up, I totally thought that beets tasted like dirt, but now I’m like, “Mmmm so earthy.” Roasted beets have a gentle sweetness to them and pair well with the neutralness of chickpeas. I roasted the garlic as well for this hummus and did not add any olive oil. Instead of adding olive oil, I added wayyyyy more tahini and some water from the can of chickpeas to texture. I did not add any lemon zest, but did squeeze lemon for serving. 

Tortilla Chips
I love, love, love tortillas and tortilla chips. One day, I really wanted a snack, saw I had tortillas, and decided to make some chips. Really easy snack to make. 


I seriously cannot believe that I have not written more about what I'm reading on this blog. That changes today! If you know me, like reallyyyy know me, then you know that I love reading. I read for fun every day, pretty much no matter what. Reading before bed has been a part of my night time routine since I was a wee little babe and has continued to be a highlight of my evening as I grow older. Now, let's get into what I've been reading. Oh! And support your local library!


From the Corner of the Oval by Beck Dorey-Stein: 5/5 Stars
I love, love, love this book. I did not expect it to be as good as it is. I hope to be able to address my own life and mistakes with such honesty as Beck, and be brave enough to share them with the world. Beck was a stenographer during Obama’s second term and goes from being super green in the DC scene to being a pro in navigating spaces, both personal and professional. If you’re a young woman who has ever had questions about your career path, or general life path, I encourage you to read this book. It’s so dang good and teaches us how important it is to stay true to our values. Further, it’s so steamy, laugh out loud funny, and well written. If you’re going to read any of these books, this is the one. (Not pictured because I lent it to some friends and they’re loving it, too!)

The Last Girl by Nadia Murad: 5/5 Stars
OOOOOOHHHHH MY GOSH! This was a freaking page turner! This is a memoir detailing life before, during, and after enslavement by ISIS forces in Iraq. Of course I had read the news coming out of the region, but reading a first person account was just overwhelming at times, in a good/eye-opening way. So often, news stories distance us from the horrifying realities playing out abroad, and here at home in the US, and this memoir brings everything into focus. Amazing read if you have an eye towards human rights. 

We'll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han: 4/5 Stars
This is a total summer novel, in fact it is actually branded “a summer novel” on the title page. Jenny Han is one of the GOATs of young adult fiction and for good reason. This is a fun read about a 19-year old woman in love with two brothers who are both also in love with her. Yes, sounds kinda weird, but open your minds, people! Un-traditional relations aside, it’s a good story about a young woman working through internal conflict. I love some good character development. If you like drama with a feel good ending, you'll like this read.

My Name is Memory by Ann Brashares: 2/5 Stars 
Ann Brashares is one of my favorite authors and The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series will forever be one of my favorite series. I've read a couple of her other books and had high hopes for this one, but it fell flat. I think Brashares has a real talent for giving voice to young women characters, but the voice of the male character in this was so stifled. The man's voice seemed like it was written by someone who had never actually had an intimate relationship with a man in real life...it was like how you imagine boys talk when you're a young girl before ever actually getting to know a boy. Further, the story was mad convoluted and complicated for no reason. I relished the chapters written from the perspective of the young woman character, but it was rough getting through the chapters written from the perspective of the man (which felt like a majority of the chapters).


It is always a good time to support Black owned businesses. Economic downturn, the coronavirus pandemic, and Black Lives Matter movement all present us with great reason to be intentional about how and where we spend our money. But, let's be clear, buying from black owned businesses does not solve for Black death, nor does it dismantle the systems that are harming and killing Black people. We've still got work to do and buying from a Black-owned businesses is pretty much the least of it. 

As I've mentioned over on my Instagram and Youtube channel, I have gotten super into skincare while staying at home, so I thought it would be fitting for me to curate some skincare routines using only products from Black-owned businesses. This post will focus specifically on products to build a morning skincare routine. I've also tried my best to explain why the ingredients in the products are oh so good for the skin. I have featured two different items in each category simply to showcase more brands and give you options.

A quick note before we jump in: I do not think it is necessary to cleanse your face in the morning if you cleanse your face at night (simply rinsing with water and patting dry will do the trick for the morning), so we will jump right into this with toners. 

Toners

I don't know if I've ever come across a skincare product with so few ingredients! I'm amazed! This toner features honeysuckle and rose to create a balancing, cleansing, and soothing tincture for the skin. This brand seems awesome and crafts small-batches of vegan skincare products in-house. You can check out this page for more information on the ingredients commonly used in their products. 

Founder: Jamika Martin
This is another toner with an incredibly small ingredient list, except this one includes two active ingredients, hyaluronic acid and kojic acid. Hyaluronic acid is a humectant, which means it draws moisture to your skin, so it is an ingredient that makes products incredibly hydrating. Kojic acid is actually a by-product of the process used to make sake (Japanese rice wine) and is good for lightening dark spots, sun damage, and healing acne scars.

Vitamin C Serums

Founder: Desiree Verdejo
For a 15% vitamin C serum, this is at a great price point. 3-0-ethyl ascorbic acid is the active ingredient in this product and it is a derivative of vitamin C. As a derivative, it is more stable than L-ascorbic acid, the pure form of vitamin C, so this product won't turn bad as quickly while sitting in your skincare cabinet. Even though it is a derivative, 3-0-ethyl ascorbic acid provides all of the same amazing brightening benefits of it's more pure parent compound. Vitamin C is great for lightening dark spots and protecting the skin from free radical damage caused by UV exposure. (What's a free radical? In short: An unstable, highly reactive molecule that can cause damage to your cells; antioxidants, like vitamin c, help neutralize free radicals.) This serum also has turmeric root extract which has anti-inflammatory properties and salicylic acid which helps fight acne. 

Founder: Ron Robinson
This vitamin C serum is coming in at a higher price point and for seemingly good reason. This product has gone through independent clinical tests and the results showed its efficacy. The active ingredient is L-ascorbic acid, but this product is made using technology to stabilize the ingredient. The ability to stabilize L-ascorbic acid is huge freaking breakthrough which explains why this serum won spots of several top magazine's best-of lists. Also, the founder of the brand is a comestics chemist, so you can trust that this formulation is top notch. 


Moisturizers

The founder of this brand is an actual, factual medical doctor -- a dermatologist, in fact! So, she brings her knowledge to the formulation of each product. This moisturizer is packed with all of the ingredients you'd want to see in a top tier products -- vitamin C, niacinamide, peptides, and ceramides. We've already covered vitamin C, so let's move onto why niacinamide, aka a form of vitamin B3, is so great. Niacinamide is one of the do-it-all skincare ingredients out there; it helps with inflammation, hyperpigmentation, reducing pore size, regulating oil production, and building up the skin barrier which will help your skin retain moisture. Peptides aid in the production of collagen and collagen is what gives our skin that youthful, plump appearance. Ceramides are lipids (fats) that help to maintain and repair the skin barrier. Bonus ingredients: hyaluronic acid, glycolic acid, lactic acid, vitamin E. Whew! That was a lot and it all says that this a moisturizer you need! 

Founder: Nubian Flunder
This moisturizer is waterless, so it does not need a strong preservative to maintain its shelf life. This is a simple formulation with vitamin E, which helps boost collagen production, and organic green tea extract and matcha, which both contain strong antioxidant properties that help soothe your skin and improve the appearance of sun damage (and fight free radicals!). It also has avocado butter in it which is full of vitamin A, C, and E, and is hydrating. 


Sunscreens

Founder: Katonya Breaux
Okay, so you need to be wearing sunscreen. Every. Single. Day. If you are not already on the sunscreen train, take this blog post as your wake-up call. Unsun's tinted face sunscreen is SPF 30 and can be used as a make-up primer or worn alone. Though putting products on top of mineral sunscreens could dilute them, so use your best judgement. This product is also reef-safe, so you can know you're doing right by the reefs on your next vacation (whenever that will be...). Win-win! 

Founder: Shontay Lundy
I *had* to put Black Girl Sunscreen in the sunscreen category. Arguably the darling of the suncare made for Black women and women of color world. Like Unsun, Black Girl Sunscreen leaves no annoying whitecast (the thin layer of white residue that you just can't seem to rub in, so you're left looking shiny and ashy at the same time, smh). This is also SPF 30 and full of ingredients meant to combat common sun-related skin concerns like aging and lack of hydration. This product is vegan, cruelty free, and reef safe. It also comes in an SPF 50 formulation for kids. 

I'll be putting together a night routine featuring products from black owned businesses next, then a few more on fun things like lip products, body products, and serums, so bookmark my blog and follow me on Instagram and be among the first to know when it's posted. 







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Skincare has become a big hobby of mine while staying safe at home. I have also decided it’s the perfect time to try new skincare products because I do not have to see anyone if things go a little sideways. 


Right before everything in the world went sideways, I had gone to see an esthetician at Spa Derma in West Loop (you can give my name for $50 off your first service - woo!). I was nearing the end of doing Drunk Elephant’s “clean break” regimen in which you only use DE products for 45 to 60 days to give your skin a break from harsh ingredients. Having made this big change in my skincare routine, I was looking to just put a cherry on top and get a professional opinion on the state of my skin. She did not tell me anything groundbreaking, but it was good to just talk about ingredients, routines, and skin concerns with her.


Speaking of skin concerns...my top skin concerns are surface dryness, texture, dark marks and hyperpigmentation. I knew the Sephora spring sale was coming up, so I wanted to get some products that would target my chief concerns and also re-up on some of my fave items. Everything I bought, plus a few extras, below.



1. Summer Fridays R+R Mask

Away, the luggage brand, partnered with Summer Fridays to create a little set in which you got the mini Away, full size R+R mask, full size Overtime mask, and travel size Jet Lag mask. All of the net proceeds went to GlobalGivings Coronavirus Relief fund. It was $75 total, which was a steal for all of those products, and I had a $20 store credit for Away, so I was able to get all of those masks for the low, low. I’ve been wanting to try this product for a while. It’s a brightening and smoothing mask thanks to vitamin C and rose flower powder.


2. Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream

This has been on my list for months! It’s a super thick, oil and ceramide rich night cream. This caught my eye because I figured it would help with some of my surface dryness. I’ve been using this for a couple of weeks now and, yes, it totally works. A little goes a long way.


3. Indie Lee Discovery Kit

I honestly haven’t heard that much about Indie Lee, but had heard enough to be curious about their line of products, so I landed on the Discovery Kit. It comes with a cleanser, CoQ-10 toner, and squalene face oil. I was looking for a gentle jelly cleanser to try and figured I might as well do the kit to get a taste for their other products, as well. 


4. The Inkey List Glycolic Acid Toner

At the time of the Sephora sale, I thought I was going to get glycolic acid toner from The Ordinary, but it was sold out, so I pivoted to The Inkey List. This is my first time purchasing anything from the brand, but it has a similar vibe to The Ordinary, so I hope I like it. My only concern with this glycolic toner is that it is 5% witch hazel and I do not have oily skin, so I am hoping it won’t dry me out too much. 


5. Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask

This is a holy grail product for me. It’s *amazing* and cannot recommend it enough. If I’m ever seeing any irritation from using products with active ingredients in it, I take a break and just use the Jet Lag Mask and maybe hyaluronic acid for a couple of days and the inflammation subsides. I usually get the travel size because it’s cheaper, but decided to get the full size because it’s still technically travel size and I know I love this product. It also came with a tube key which was unexpected and exciting, so I’ll be able to get every last bit of the product out. 


6. The Inkey List Niacinamide 

Once again, I had planned to get The Ordinary’s niacinamide and zinc serum, but it was sold out, so I took a look at The Inkey List. This is the product that I am most excited to try as niacinamide is a do-it-all kind of ingredient and should help with my hyperpigmentation and texture concerns. This is formulation also has hyaluronic acid in it to help with hydration. 


7. Fresh Rose & Hyaluronic Acid Deep Hydration Moisturizer

This was kind of a random addition to my cart, but I was on a big hydration kick while shopping the sale. I’ve only tried a couple other items from Fresh, but I know the rose line is fairly popular so I thought I’d give it a go with the mini size. I like to keep a face moisturizer with me whenever I’m out and about, so I thought this would be a good candidate. 


8. Farmacy Honey Butter Beeswax Lip Balm

I just wanted to try this product. It reminded me of Burt’s Bees which I used obsessively for over a year, but I started having poor reactions to it eventually. So far, so good with this lip balm.


9. Summer Fridays Overtime Mask

This also came in the Away set. I’ve never tried it, but should be good for a gentle exfoliation. It does have almond oil in it just in case any of you have nut allergies like me; almonds happen to be the only nut I can tolerate, but I will still likely spot test this mask before putting it all over my face. 


10. Drunk Elephant F-Balm Electrolyte Waterfacial Mask

I just started using this and it is bomb. I had about three dry patches that just were not getting better, but after one use, I saw improvement, and after 3 uses, the patches are nearly gone. Big fan of this for an extra boost of hydration. This also has niacinamide in it and Vitamin F, which helps maintain hydration and improve the strength of your acid mantle. 


Follow me on Instagram @realstephaniegreene

The more we stay inside, the more I think about all of the places I have been fortunate enough to visit. My absolute favorite country so far has been Mexico. It is just a breath of fresh air to me.

I was recently looking through some photos from my first time in Mexico City in February 2017 and came across a photo of Palacio de Bellas Artes. It was taken at the beginning of what would turn out to be the worst trip I had ever been on. I'm reposting a Facebook status I wrote from the worst day of the trip below. Mostly because it reminds me that we learn a lot about ourselves, others, and the more hidden disgraces of the world when we travel. It was the first time I had experienced such blatant racism abroad and also such blatant racism from my classmates. I've since forgotten the names of all the girls involved and can only hope they've grown into more thoughtful women.

Even though this trip was a mess by the end, I'm still incredibly grateful for all I experienced.

----
February 24, 2017

Here is what it is like to be a black woman for those of you who aren't... 
I am studying abroad in Mexico this quarter and have spent the week in Mexico City with my classmates. Some friends and I decided to stay the weekend in Mexico City so that we could explore a bit on our own. 4 of my friends are black women, 1 is a brown skin Latina, and 1 is a white woman. There are 7 of us total. Keep this in mind, it is important.
We made a reservation in the hotel that we had been staying in all week out of convenience; it was inexpensive enough and all 7 of us could stay in the same room. A girl in my group made the reservation at the front desk and signed her name on the reservation card. We get the keys to our room -- the only room available in the hotel that can fit 7 -- and head on up. When we get to the room, we open the door and find that the room is occupied. The folks in the room were 4 white women who are also students in my study abroad program.
We figured the front desk must have made a mistake and went back downstairs to work things out with the hotel's manager. When we tell the manager there are other people in our room, he moves quickly to tell a bellboy to go kick the people out. We say, no, no, we know those girls, maybe there is another solution.
In speaking to the manager and trying to figure out how we can remedy this situation such that my friends and I and the other girls have a place to stay for the night, one of the white women comes down to the front desk. When we begin to explain the situation to her, she looks at her phone, does not make eye contact with us, and says that she and her friends are not moving. When we say that we will not have a place to stay for the night, she says that is the hotel's problem.
Now, the hotel manager tells my friends and I that we do, in fact, have the 7 person room reserved, and that there is a 4 person room that the 4 white women can move into on another floor. When presented with this option of a room change, the white girls hold steady that they are not going to change rooms, with the knowledge that 7 of their classmates, some of us whom they call friends, will not have a place to stay for the night.
The hotel manager and bellboys try several times to evict the white women from the room we have reserved. Eventually, they give up. When we press the manager for his poor management and remind him that we have that room reserved and they -- the white women -- do not, he says, we are too loud, we are too aggressive, too pushy. Mind you, it is three hours after check-in time and we still do not have access to our room because there are four white women who refuse to leave. Tell me, were we really in the wrong for being just a touch upset that we wasted an afternoon arguing over a room that was ours by reservation?
Eventually, the manager says that he would rather kick us out -- the group of (mostly) women of color who had the reservation -- than the white women who were essentially squatting in his hotel. And that is what did it. He would rather honor a non-existent contract with white women.
When we confronted the white women, explaining their complacency in the racism of the hotel manager by deciding to stay in the hotel, in that room, their brandishing of white feminism by expressing zero concern over the wellbeing of the women of color they know, we were met with shock and excuses. They had made the reservation weeks ago, it was a matter of timeliness, miscommunication, really the room was theirs. However, during this exchange, a bellboy brought up a blank reservation card for the white women to fill out, because -- oh my gosh! -- they did not have the room reserved.
This is what it's like to be a black women for those of you who aren't: It's a feeling of hot rage and embarrassment. It's knowing that people don't want you around just because you're black. It's knowing that had the roles been reversed, the hotel manager likely would have seen to the physical removal of my friends and I from the room. It's knowing that students you have to sit in class with everyday don't give a single f*ck about you. It's having to check yourself in moments like this -- moments when you are ready to succumb to the will of white women and remembering that there is nothing stronger than the will of a black woman with a mission. It's remembering that you will not give a single penny to place that employs people who have the audacity to say such vile things like that to you. It's remembering that in situations like this, call white women what they are: racist.
My friends and I left that hotel and are staying at another for the night. But, we are tired, tired, tired. When leaving the other hotel, the one white woman in my group showed herself to be a true ally and broke the situation down for the manager, pointing out when and how he had been racist, and why we would not spend our money at his establishment. If you are white, if you are white and a woman, don't lament how this situation is so terrible -- call out other white people for what they are: racist.
That is what it is like to be a black woman for those of you who aren't.
I am turning 25 years old this year, so naturally I am starting to have thoughts about what 25 year olds do. Do they host dinner parties? Wear heels everyday? Always have their nails done??? I keep thinking back to when I was younger and thought that 25 years old was, well, old. LOL. Now, that I am approaching 25, I can say with confidence that it will be vastly different and far less glamorous than what I had imagined with my 12 year old mind. But, one little grown up touch I’ll be taking into 25 is sending thank you cards. 

Back in the day, my mom used to always make me and my siblings write thank you cards to our friends and family after birthdays and holidays. We would literally put them into the mail. Seems so novel now in this digital age, but it’s still the polite thing to do. And it’s so cool to be on the receiving end of a piece of mail from someone you actually know. 
I’ve teamed up with Basic Invite to showcase how I’ll be walking into 25 years old with a little extra touch of classiness mixed with gratitude. When I was in high school reading OG preppy blogs, I thought having stationary and a monogram was peak adulthood. I also thought it was super hard to get personalized paper goods. But in working with Basic Invite, I now know it’s incredibly simple. While I need to put more thought into the design of my monogram, I landed on some personalized thank you cards to fill that made-for-me-paper-goods void. 

The user interface of Basic Invite is intuitive and easy to use, which is key for me in a website where I can play around with designs. There are over 180 different color options and you can customize every little detail on cards, down to the pollen in the flowers, to get the look that is truly yours. You can also order samples of your customized cards before doing a full order to make sure you love them before committing. 
I ordered 5 different samples and, wow, they are so stinking cute! I got one card with a raised foil detail and, look, she is fancy! I tend to like understated, high contrast designs, but I’m 100% here for the flash of the raised foil. I also, of course, got the Chicago design. I’m pretty sure Chicago was the city they had as a featured design, so as a proud Chicagoan, I had to get it. This thank you card is actually a wedding thank you card, but who has to know? Yes, exactly, just you. 

If you’re interested in upping your thank you card game, Basic Invite is offering 15% off with code 15FF51. Happy thanking, friends!

*Disclaimer: This post is in paid partnership with Basic Invite. All opinions shared in this post are my own.*
Last Wednesday of January! Woo! Wednesday Reset writing prompt below:
  • ️Write about the three best moments you had this month. You can pick the length of the moment, so could be a full day or a full minute.
  • Read over what you wrote, then identify commonalities between the moments.
  • This will be the prompt at the end of every month. Over time, you’ll be able to see a link between your best moments, then work to put yourself in more situations to be your best ️:)

I have cried over one man who did not deserve my tears. I have cried over one man who did. 

It is literally 6am. I’ve been awake since 5:16am, fumbling to get back to sleep. I’ve decided to take my own advice from my upcoming Instagram post that features the writing prompt, “Just breathe. Just write.” So, here we are, 6am, breathing and writing.

I never really talk about dating publicly, or really, outside of my very tight knit circle of close friends. I do think it falls into the category of what is broadly considered private life, but the lines between public and private have been smudged quite seriously with the rise of the ultra-open-door, I’m-just-like-your-best-friend social media influencers. Anyway, given some recent events, my mind is taking me towards a free write about dating and the ego.

I think of the ego as one’s sense of self and how we differentiate ourselves from other people and objects in the world. You are you, I am I. I also think of the ego as a mechanism of protection. The ego keeps us from putting ourselves in situations that will destabilize our sense of self because with a destabilization of self, the world will surely end. 

Enter: Dating.

The process of “trying to get to know someone” and you “letting your guard down” to either end up in a state of blissful partnership or wondering why you ever responded to that DM in the first place. For a long time, I thought dating only ended in one of those two ways: great or worst decision ever (each bad dating experience becomes the new worst, naturally). Now, I see a third option: it is not the best and not the worst, but just an event that happened; maybe something was learned, but maybe not.

Our ego serves to mediate our sense of reality, keep us safe, let’s our subconscious fears, hopes, and aspirations bubble up and “help” us in our conscious minds make decisions. I really began to ponder the ego while in yoga teacher training because it is the same mechanism that makes your voice shake while teaching a yoga class. It’s the thing that tells you it’s time to return to your mat in the back of the room and that maybe you’re not good enough to be an instructor. It’s the thing that keeps you from trying to do a handstand in class for fear of embarrassment. It’s the thing that keeps you from *trying* at all. It’s trying to protect you!! How can it protect you when you decide that it’s okay to maybe make a fool of yourself in front of 30 strangers? In short, the ego is a big, scary beast to tame, mostly because we are not conscious of it all. 

When I was younger (lol, I’m only 24, but bear with me) in college, I made lots of decisions in relation to dating and boys (they were men, but...iykyk) with my ego. I needed to run the show, they were lucky to be with me, I was everything they could have ever asked for. Beauty? Check. Brains? Double check. Booty? Triple check (I kid). Seriously, what more could they be looking for? I was the full package. 

I will never knock a healthy sense of confidence, but I can now distinguish between confidence and self-centeredness. The self-centeredness is the narrative of “I am everything they could ever want.” Of course, that narrative coursed through my mind without actually ever asking, err, what they wanted. I always tell men that I’m not crazy, but, boy, looking back, I was crazy. 

My ego said I had everything and more. So, the actual act of navigating men and dating and feelings was tumultuous. It meant that when I encountered men who did not think I was everything and more, it was destabilizing. It is this sense of exceptionalism that can prove to be soul crushing. If you live your life thinking, “I’m different, he would never treat me the way he treated shorty over there.” So, then, when he does, you have to come face to face with the possibility that you and shorty over there might have more in common than you have ever wanted to truly consider. Talk about shaking the table. Talk about coming face to face with who you really are. It’s a big, break the earth in half task. 

We have to make a project out of continuously and consciously knocking ourselves from the center of the world as we see it, otherwise we will live in a constant churn of hurt, instability, and identity crises. This is turning your best friend’s cooing of, “this is not about you” after the next break up into something that actually means something to you. She is always there to help you reframe the narrative so that the experience does not break you. Internalize that sort of talk and see how your world view shifts.

So, when I saw a recent fling crumbling right in front of me, seemingly out of nowhere, I was surprised that I was not more shaken. I have a sense of how much I’ve grown, particularly post yoga teacher training, but it’s not until I get into these tough moments that I actually get to answer the what-would-you-do-if questions. 

What would you do if he ignored you for two days?
Three years ago: I can’t believe he’s ignoring me. I am that b*tch! *anxiety*
Now: Maybe he’s still processing his own thoughts or just isn’t interested in talking to me. Whatever the reason, it’s his reason and not mine to wonder or be anxious about. He will reach out when he is ready, or not at all. Either way, I am fine.

Let me tell you, three years ago, I would not have even reached out to a man who seemingly decided I had done something so terrible I should be ignored. I would not have reached out for fear of rejection, for fear of him telling me who I was, what I did, how I ruined things. Now, I have a fuller sense of self. I am able to better distinguish between projection and truth. Every confrontation with a man is not an indictment of who I am. 

This latest relationship fail feels like a karmic test. An opportunity for me to revisit something that I did not handle so well in the past and see if I’ve really grown. And, let me tell you: nothing feels better than growth, real freaking growth, where you begin to live in alignment with who you are *and* who you want to be. I think I am currently passing this test. I think the test is still ongoing, like is dude gonna hit me up or nah? Though, I also think this blog post could be the nail in the coffin that ends the relationship for good. But here’s what I know: he won’t be getting any tears from me. And, that, is liberating. 
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