The Waiting Place


One of my all-time favorite books is Dr. Seuss’ Oh the Places You’ll Go.  It is an inspiring poem that more so connects to adults although it is a children’s book.  The over-arching message is one of redemption.  Regardless of life’s challenges, you are going great places far and wide. But what I love most about this liberating tale is how honest it is about life’s journey.  In the portion of the story I quoted above, it discusses the “The Waiting Place”.

There are high moments in life.  Happiness is everywhere.  Everything is showing up sunny.  Blessings are boundless, and things are going your way.  Then, there are the quiet seasons.  The waiting seasons where it is silent and still. Feelings of loneliness are insurmountable.  With nothing but your thoughts, your mistakes, and yourself, you are forced to face all the consequences of your choices.  You are forced to wait for the next big thing that may or may not come.  What does one do?  How does one cope?

The “sunny-side up” in me is going to sell you on the positives of the waiting place, because that’s my job (insert smiley emoji), but not before I honestly fill you in on the realities of this very humbling place.  It sucks.  It sucks ass. You feel defeated and deserted…helpless.  It, however, can be a very empowering place.  Yes, empowering was the right word choice.  As a waiting place pro, I speak from experience.  The waiting place most times is necessary, and here is why:



  • The waiting place gives you something that can be seen as a blessing and a curse (depending on how you use it).  Time.  Time to grieve the old.  Time to plan your next move.  Time to reflect.  Time to rest. Time to be still.  Time to rebuild.  Facing yourself is never easy, but it is the only way you can see the things that need to change which will only make you stronger and wiser.  The waiting place gives you time to do just that.


  • It forces you to change paths.  Now the waiting place can be painfully brutal, but it is often far better than the path that led you there.  The waiting place, in some ways, saves you from continuing a painful situation.  It protects you from further damage. It removes you.


  • The waiting place opens you to possibilities you may not of otherwise been open to.  A friend of mine lost her job (the job was horrible, and she needed to change paths, for sure).  She is now in the waiting place.  But the amazing thing is now she is open to, and looking for jobs that she wouldn’t of otherwise looked for.  Jobs out of state.  Jobs that are befitting of her qualifications.  Jobs that she probably wouldn’t of considered a year ago.  When you are not tied to anything, you are open to everything.  The waiting place helps you see all the opportunities ahead of you and plan for the future you want.


So, whether you are waiting on the next job, or the next relationship, or the next 10 pounds to lose, or the next opportunity, know that there is a divine and vital reason for being there.  Find the lessons in the waiting place, so you don’t repeat the mistakes.  Find the peace in the waiting place, so that you can bring joy, light, and a whole self in life’s next stage.  Know that the waiting place is temporary.  You won’t be there forever because just like Dr. Seuss says, “you’re off to great places”!


Have you ever been in the waiting place?  Share your thoughts and stories in the comments below.  I would love to hear from you!


Love WITHOUT Fear,


Paying Into Your Legacy

In a recent conversation with a close friend, the discussion of leaving a legacy became the focal point.  We shared our stories of lessons learned, the high and lows of life, and the importance of building traditions and a character that will have a lasting effect on the lives of our family and our world.  We talked about how one builds a legacy that lives far beyond their life here on this earth.  I was reminded of some people that have transitioned from this earthly life.  How impactful their deeds on earth were, how their accomplishments, their character have proven significant far beyond their years on earth.  They were intentional with decisions they made.  They made a difference.  Their actions contributed to our world leaving it unalterably changed. 


Now, I know what you may be thinking.  Really, Veronica?!?!  A Legacy?!?!  That isn’t something that anyone less than 60 should be thinking about, but you should.  No one knows the how many years they will live beyond the present.  Each and everyday is a blessing with the next one not promised.  Moreover, I am coming to realize that your daily decisions are shaping your legacy rather you want them to or not.  How you treat people, the memories you create, and your choices are creating how people will remember your earthly life.  Being mindful of the legacy you want to leave is imperative because it enables you to focus on your life’s purpose, goals you want to accomplish, and the lasting footprints you want to leave.  


Earlier this week, Tahlee (our resident travel guru) talked about creating a vacation fund for future adventures.  In the same way, we can think of our legacy as an account that we are building.  With each decision, each relationship created, each goal set and accomplished (or lack thereof), we are paying into our legacy.  As I continue to build my legacy reserves, here are some things I am pondering and working towards:


Reflect.  How do I want to be remembered?  Thinking about this question can seem a bit morbid, but it is a great way to think about and be more mindful of goals you want to accomplish during your earthly life.  It will manifest itself in how you treat people (most times…everyone is allowed some “off” moments) and decisions you make.  Great and impactful legacies are created from lives filled with self-reflection and a driven purpose.


Pay it forward.  Support the people and causes that are important to you.  Showing up and being present in the lives of others is an awesome way to create a life that will be remembered as impactful and meaningful.  Service is an attribute that changes lives, and inspires others.  And what’s so awesome…it is something we can ALL do!  Finding opportunities to pour into someone else in some small way each day is what great legacies are made of.


Mentor.  In the light of paying it forward, mentorship allows you to impart your wisdom and lessons learned in the life of someone else.  In my own life, I can recall those that advised me professionally and personally.  Their commitment to helping shape my life, changed my life for the better.  It also etched them forever in my memory.  It is their legacy to me.  We are given blessings to be a blessing, and mentoring most certainly can bless someone else and ensure that your greatness lives beyond your own life.



Go for yours.  There is nothing more uplifting than someone actively pursuing their passion.  Someone stepping out on faith to actively work towards making their dreams a reality (win, lose, or draw) is their legacy.  It allows you to pursue your purpose and destiny, and it gives others permission and encouragement to do the same.   You want to be remembered for doing something great?  DO SOMETHING GREAT! 


Be better.  It would be nice if we could play all our life, but legacies are created from intentional choices to be exceptional.  Commit.  Prioritize.  Be kind.  Set goals.  Crush goals. Everyday try to improve the person you were the day before…your legacy depends on it.


Life is like a book.  It's not the amount of chapters, but the words that fill the pages that makes for a cherished story.  How will you fill your pages?  What legacy will leave? 


What do you do to build your legacy?  I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!



Love WITHOUT Fear,


Falling In Love With Me

Somewhere along the way, I forgot.  Pouring into loved ones.  Trusting the agendas of others over my own.  Accepting.  Settling for standards beneath my worth.  Little by little losing me, piece by piece.  Living in silent shame of the pain of hopes unfulfilled.  With fruitless dreams and a broken spirit, here I am…an empty vessel. Scarred. Dejected. Hopeless.  

Somewhere along the way, I forgot. 

I forgot to practice what I preach.  I am, where I am, for a divine purpose.  And even in my brokenness, I am enough.  My gifts and glitches don’t need to be shifted or hidden to fit the needs of someone else.  I am the perfect blend of greatness in the making.  Someone else’s lack of seeing my treasures is their problem, not mine.  Recognizing my bright light and letting it shine everyday is my responsibility, not anyone else’s.  I forgot I am enough. 

I forgot the power of forgiveness…forgiving myself.  Forgiving myself for putting others needs before my own.  Forgiving myself for silencing my voice, my needs.  Releasing myself from the pain of things that fell apart.  I forgot that nothing will change the way things panned out.  Not even wallowing in the pool of regrets and shame.  I forgot to forgive.

I forgot that my journey will have bumps and turns that will knock me down, but I choose how I react.  Failure sparks a change, and (in some cases) the change is necessary.  I can choose to use the lessons learned in failing to propel me to a place that reflects my worth and joy.  I forgot, in failure, I can choose to fight.


Autumn is a beautiful season of change.  All of nature screams transition.  From the crisp shift in the air’s temperature, to the beautiful color changes in leaves as they fall from the trees making them open, bare, and vulnerable.  It’s the perfect time to allow bad habits to die, and learn some valuable and humbling lessons.  It’s the perfect time to fall for the most important person…ME! 


So, what now? In this brief time, I have learned some things as I begin this journey of loving me. 


You matter.  So often, in times of trouble, we don’t seek help.  We say nothing.  We wallow in our own pain and shame.  I am finding that people are waiting and wanting to pour into you all the love and encouragement needed to get through the difficult times.  Let them.  I spend a good chunck of my time building my reserves.  Pouring my gifts into the people that matter to me.  During this season of emptiness, they are drenching me with love and good energy, and I am very grateful. 


Be selfish.  Its odd even typing this, but falling in love with me means I’ve got to get to know me, again.  Take time to spend time with much time as you need.  Don’t look at it as saying ‘no’ to others, but saying ‘yes’ to yourself.  It may take some time for others to adjust, but they will and they will love you still.


Get busy living.  Plan some dates…some solo dates.  Get all dolled up in your fall’s finest, of course, and enjoy an evening out.  (You could also stay in.)  Set some short and long term goals.  Get your mind actively thinking about your next season because it is surely coming.  Write them down, and post them where you can see them often. Say “thank you” for breath in your body everyday (after all, things could be worse).  Find reasons to laugh, songs that fill you with hope, blessings in nature.  Believe in new life, or fake it til’ you make it.  


Even in pain, there is hope.  Even in sadness, you can choose joy.  I choose happiness.  I choose redemption.  I choose my own needs and desires. 


I choose me….one day at a time. 


Do you have stories of self-redemption?  I would love to hear them! Please share in the comments below.


Love Without Fear,


The Fruits of Failure

“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” – Robert F. Kennedy


I am still on a high from the events of the 2016 Olympics.  It never ceases to amaze me how incredibly talented these athletes are.  My favorite part is learning the stories behind how they each got to this grand stage.  One story in particular really stood out for me.  In the women’s 100m hurdles, the United States swept at the award's podium when Brianna Rollins, Nia Ali, and Kristi Castlin took home gold, silver, and bronze metals respectively.  Black girl magic killed it.  Never before had the United States swept in this event.  What was even more astounding was the person NOT in this race.  Kendra “Kenni” Harrison did not make the Olympic team.  A failing performance during the Olympic trials, shut her out from Team USA in Rio.  However, at the IAAF Diamond League in July of this year, she broke the world record when she competed and won the title against all of the placing women from the Olympic competition.  Watch her epic performance here.

I started thinking of what it must take to stand again after you’ve fallen.  Kenni succeeded in the face of her competitors (who had previously defeated her).  Instead of seeing her performance in the Olympic trials as an indicator of her potential, she used her previous loss as momentum to propel her to setting a world record.  Amazing!

Failure is never easy.  You prepare.  You practice.  You give your blood, sweat, and tears, only to not reach your goal.  It can make you feel embarrassed and inadequate.  It often is one’s greatest fear.  But, in thinking about things that you’ve succeeded, failure is often part of the process.  It is the catalyst that often transforms a business or even a relationship.  Failing is necessary and inevitable.  To never fail is to live so carefully that you never take risks or chances.  That, some would argue, is a failure in itself.


So, let’s think of failure as a seed.  If watered and nurtured, it will bear fruit.  In my own life, I have experienced failure.  Relationships that ended.  Friendships broken.  Professional hang-ups and bang-ups.  Each disappointment was that seed that made me better…stronger.  Every person, every business venture, every relationship needs to experience failure, and here’s why:


Failure triggers a change.  When you fail, one or two things will happen.  You will lose motivation, and spiral down a road of despair.  Or, you are propelled to a greater place of triumph.  The great part is you decide!!  Let’s take Kenni, for example.  She could of stopped preparing and training after the Olympic trials. Instead, she took her previous loss as an opportunity to reset her plan.  This launched her on a different, necessary path, and led her to (some would argue) a greater success.



Failure allows you to reflect.  Humility and introspection don’t often come when you only succeed. It’s nothing like a shift in plans to take you back to drawing board.   When we initially launched our blog, Besties and Brunch, we had very high engagement.  We were soooooo excited!!! Until….we saw our levels of engagement for the proceeding weeks.  It was significantly lower.  We had to reflect on new ways to engage our audience.  In that process (which is still ongoing), we learned invaluable lessons that will ultimately make this project better.

 Failure turns the “lightbulb” on.  In my profession (I am an educator), my best moments with my students have been when the lightbulb turns on.  Finally, it clicks! You can see it all over their faces…it’s the “aha” moment.  Failure creates an opportunity for the “lightbulb” to turn on.  It allows you to see an idea you couldn’t before.  It creates new knowledge!  All of sudden, things are clearer, and you’ve got it!

 Losing can feel like a setback, and sometimes it is.  It, however, can also be a SET UP for something greater than what you may of initially planned (Preach!).  Instead of quitting, use failure as your seed.  Refocus, reset, rebuild, and watch your fruit grow.

 What are your “fruits” in failure?  What lessons have you learned from failing?  I would love to hear your stories!

Love WITHOUT Fear,



Can A Woman Be TOO Independent?

Being a woman is hard.  We carry the weight of the world on our shoulders.  Often times, not by choice, we are placed in situations where we have to “figure it out”, and we do just that without breaking a sweat.  We handle it, get it done (well done!), and worry later.  Being a black woman is hard.  As Poppa Pope would say, “you have to work twice as hard to be thought of as half as good.”  Being strong-willed, confident, and independent are required for survival, let alone success.  You are always needing to consider "plan B", the next step, the way out.  

Heartbreaks from past relationships don’t help either.  Many women have “submitted” in their relationships, only to be dumped or deceived.  After believing and investing in their mate, they’re left high and dry.  And if you’re that woman that hasn’t experienced this, surely you've heard some horror stories from your woman tribe.  Trusting that someone else will correctly and consistently guard your heart goes against all that you’ve learned or experienced...especially the longer it takes to find someone that will. It can create an “I DON’T NEED A MAN” attitude.  

Recently, I read a meme in a conversation thread with a very opinionated black man (who shall remain nameless).  It talked about independent women…independent single women to be exact.  It described how being single and independent over a period of time is detrimental in the context of a relationship.  Women who are TOO independent (according to this meme) drive men away because essentially that don’t need them.  Now, while I am “all the women who independent, throw your hands up at me” and “girls run the world”, I could see how this frame of thinking could cause conflict in a relationship.  Men, and women alike, crave to be needed and appreciated.  And if there is no NEED the other person fulfills, why are they there?  In my own experiences in relationships, I’ve noticed how being single and independent for a long time has changed me.  I have this “I’ll do it” mentality.  Carry 500 bags up the stairs? I’ll do it.  Reaching the bowl that is 20 feet high, and I’m 5’1’’ with no ladder? I’ll do it.  Stranded because your car broke down (again) and you need to figure out how to get home? I'll do it.  Work through my insecurities and fears? I’ll do that too.  Without even thinking to ask for assistance or opinion, I just do it because I’ve had to just do it for a long time.  And, low key, I fear becoming dependent and being let down.  But the message that might send is I don’t need or want help, and deep down, I DO!  Why else would I even date?  

Might dating an independent woman require softening some rough edges?  Probably so.  Could I inadvertently step on your man toes from time to time?  Its very possible.  Might I need time and patience to learn how to relinquish a little bit of my self-sufficiency (because no woman should EVER give up all their power; personal opinion)?  Abso-FREAKING-lutely.  It requires someone strong and determined enough to step up to the plate.  And, I think the right someone will do just that!

Are women too independent?  Let me know what you think!  I would love to hear from you in the comments below!!


Love WITHOUT Fear,


Bag Lady


“Bag Lady, you gon’ hurt your back…dragging all them bags like that.” – Erykah Badu

Relationships (friendship, business-ships, etc.) can be tough.  Sometimes, very tough.  It’s very easy to point the finger, and so much harder to look in the mirror.  As I journey through life and love, more and more I see my own shortcomings.  Now, I may look like I have it all together, dressed to impress, smiles on fleek, but…I have baggage.  Tons of it.   Hurt from my past, opportunities loss, insecurities, doubt.  If I am very honest with myself (and now the world), these flaws have, at times, kept me stagnant professionally and personally.  After all, it is much easier to push people away than it is to face your own feelings.  This is who I am, dammit!  You can love it, or leave me alone!  So, excuse me while I keep my emotional fortress intact.



Now, that plan would work fine if I could continued this life on a one-woman island, but where’s the growth there?  Holding on to the past and self-destructing behavior(s) keeps you safe, but they will also potentially keep you single, sad, and stationary.  Know that EVERYONE has baggage…everyone!  Stepping out of your comfort zone to manage your baggage enables you to discover the person you want to be and become it!  A while ago, I began the work to clean out the physical baggage in my home (read about it here). Now, emotional baggage?!? It’s your turn!



1.    Find out what’s in your bags.  Take a moment (and a dose of the strongest truth serum) and write down all the things that trouble you.  Include every thought or action that stresses you or brings you down.  Be open to whatever comes to mind.

2.    Find the source.  Take each stressor you listed, and think back to where you got the baggage.  Were you cheated on in a previous relationship? Have you experienced abandonment from a parent or relative?  Recognize the source, and move on!

3.    Find the GOOD in the bad.  Keeping the source of the baggage in mind, think of a good thing that came from each of those bad experiences.  For example, I have been cheated on in a previous relationship.  That loss of trust eventually was the demise of the relationship, BUT, in that relationship, I learned to be self-sufficient and independent.  The relationship (while painful) literally grew me up!  Find the “but” in your baggage.  This will empower you to become the victor of your painful past, and not the victim.

4.    Create counters for negative thoughts.  Now, you know what is in your bags, and you know how they got there. Use the positives you found to create specific and concrete affirmations.  I also loooove quotes!  Anything that will speak life into your “baggy” moments.  Write them down.  Post them in places you will see them often.  “Be Mary Jane” and post that shit everywhere…at work, in the bathroom, in the car.  



5.    21 days.  That’s how long it takes to form a habit, and that’s consecutive days.  This is a marathon, not a sprint.  Your baggage may never leave, but you can develop structures to prevent it from impeding your promising future…with time and patience.  So, be consistent and persevere.  Find an accountability partner to do self-check-ins with, or track your own progress through journaling.  





The relationship you have with yourself is the MOST important relationship you will ever have.  Do the work, and lighten your load, bag lady.

How do you handle emotional baggage?  Let me know in the comments, I can’t wait to hear your thoughts. 

Love WITHOUT Fear,


So, When Is Your Wedding?


This past weekend I had the honor of participating in my very first bestie’s wedding, my first cousin, Jessica (if you are reading this Jessica, I am still on a high from your weekend of “good food, folks, and fun”).  As everyone was gathered to celebrate and share in their glorious union, several family and friends asked me that infamous question:

“When will we be coming to your wedding?”


Uumm, really? This is not MY day!  Focus on the bride for goodness sake!  But, it got me thinking.  There are very common statements that a non-married girl of a certain age (read my scary age post if you want to know my age) often encounters.  And typically it comes from married people.  And I get it!  People mean well…they truly do.  They want the best for you, but it doesn’t change the unstated fact that people feel privy to the single’s life.  They want to fix you…undo your plague of singleness.  How dare you be unmarried and ok with it?!?!

Here are a few questions/statements I’ve heard through the years:


“See.  That’s why you’re single.”  Oh, ok.  So, you have always been perfect and without flaws.  And the moment that I stop shopping (or whatever other random thing that explains why I am not married) someone will get on their knees and extend a proposal to me, right?  Got it!

“You must have so much time on your hands.” BREAKING NEWS AMERICA: Single people have lives!  While I do not have a husband (yet), I have plenty of things to occupy my time!  I could list the countless activities that fill my daily day, but that doesn’t matter.  The point is life can be just as full rather you have a husband and children in it or not. (Sidenote: not everyone with a husband and children has a full life. #noshade #notea)

“I have the perfect person for you.” Lawd! I really appreciate you looking out for me.  I do.  Really.  Buuuuutttt! Meeting men is not a problem for MOST singles.  Now, if you could step in and make my relationship last, you might be working with something.

“You are just too picky.” Sooooo, you want me to lower my standards?? Ok.  

 Why aren’t you married?” If I had the answer to that question, I probably would be married.  But the greater point is why is it assumed that I am not perfectly happy with my life exactly the way it is.  I am not married for the very same reason you ARE married…it works for you.


This journey called life is different for each person.  No one’s story will be exactly alike.  Some will marry, some won’t.  And some times it takes a little longer to get to the altar.  Either way, this girl is enjoying the ride! 

Has this ever happened to you? Can you relate?  What are your thoughts?  I would love to hear from you!


Love Without Fear,


Hello! My Name is Nancy...and I am Negative.


Oh Nancy!  You know Nancy.  She’s the one at work, at the family Sunday dinner, or at brunch with the besties that finds something wrong with the slightest of things. She begins and ends every conversation with some undesirable (and often unnecessary) commentary, some soliloquy of the horrible happenings in her life that seems to occur daily.  Even in the best of moods, you leave her feeling depleted of all positive energy.  Unknowingly, Nancy can rob you of all your joy and good vibes.

Sidebar:  If you don’t have a Nancy in your life…Nancy might be you.

Many would say that you shouldn’t deal with Nancy.  Her energy is consistently toxic.  Fire her!  Be done with the relationship.  In some instances, this advice might be effective.  After all, not all relationships are meant to last forever.  But some “Nancy”s can’t be divorced.  You may work for a Nancy, and not be in the best position to quit your job.  Nancy might be a family member that you interact with often.  Or, Nancy could be a bestie, whose relationship you would like to preserve.  So then what?  Here are some quick tips that will hopefully help:

1. Love WITH a limit.  Mary J. Blige’s 1992 jam would encourage you otherwise, but Nancy needs boundaries!  Limit your conversations with her, especially when it begins to take a turn for the worse.  Don’t engage in her negativity.  Keeping the interactions short and not often (if possible) will put all that destructive juju where it belongs…with her.  Hopefully, it will also send the message of “good vibes only”.

2. Choose your mood.  This will be hard!  I would be lying if I told you I’ve got this one down.  Negative Nancy is a pro at altering your mood.  Most times, it’s her ultimate goal! (Misery is ALWAYS looking for company.) Fight against it!  Before contact, tell yourself, “I am going to be positive regardless of whatever happens around me.” You are in control of you.  Don’t make Nancy’s problems your own.

3. Lead with Love.  Energy (both positive and negative) is truly contagious!!  So, spread positivity.  Smile! Compliment!  Be a “HUG DEALER”! 

S ource  


Make it impossible for Nancy (or anyone else for that matter) to leave your presence without feeling better about life.  Nancy won’t know what hit her!  She’ll be so busy smiling that she’ll forget whatever negative thing she was going to say (hopefully)!

Do you know a Negative Nancy?  How do handle her/him?

Love Without Fear,