MAY 2018

Embracing New Opportunities
... while Finding New Reasons to Fall in Love with Life & Myself ...



✈️Blue Ridge Mountains, GA | Atlanta, Ga 

Traveling through the mountains reminds me of all the obstacles you face, hills you've climbed and the distance you must with great pride to succeed. For the past two years I have been blessed to travel with my dear friend Keila for her birthday to the mountains in Mulgrave, Jamaica and now here in Blue Ridge. It serves as a reflection of all the ups and down you'll experience throughout life, love and friendship. Creating new memories that will last a lifetime and exploring new heights along the way. I want to thank Keila again for having such a big heart and being a great friend!

Trip Lesson: Find new reasons to fall in love with yourself.

Well, it's Gemini season and with that being said I can admit that there are definitely two sides to my personality. Note, I said personality not character. Zodiac sign stereotypes is a whole 'nother topic for a whole different day. However, there are times when I can be a little reserved, observant and even shy and then I also know how to have a good time and party without having to be the center of attention all the time.

I am learning more about myself through how I handle certain situations and meeting new people. By letting my actions speak for themselves I don't feel the need to always explain my character or why I am the way I am. Especially to those who only ask questions for temporary entertainment over true curiosity. In other words, I don't like small talk or questions with no intent of truly getting to know me. By knowing this I am learning to love the fact that I'm a no nonsense type of woman with limited patience. #GeminiSeason

⚓️ Myrtle Beach, SC

Our Girl’s Trips never go as expected .. much like our college days but as usual, we laughed (a whole lot), we cried, we prayed and we twerked! My friends always remind me that it is possible, better yet necessary to be a multi-faceted woman. Managing our professional careers and goals while still making time to do the things we enjoy and have some fun.

My friends have become more like sisters as we continue to grow closer over the years. I thank God all the time for placing them in my life - making college a little bit easier and adulting even more fun. I can’t wait until we have the opportunity for all of my old roommates to get together for a trip. We’re coming up on our fifth year anniversary of graduating from undergrad and it was been amazing.

Trip Lesson: Love yourself where you are, even if you want to change.

I don't want to feel uncomfortable in my own skin for the entire summer even though I know I want to keep working on my weight. It wouldn't be fair to restrict myself from certain clothes or events because I am a plus size woman. I believe others who are not plus size should never allow their ignorance to criticize another human being. No one is perfect and we were made with separate identities and features for a reason. 

During the last trip and this one I decided to step out of my comfort zone some and begin to taking more full body pictures of myself again. Specifically in a bathing suit with no cover up and slightly more revealing clothes! Since reaching my current weight I felt like I've been hiding behind selfies and for the first time ever I publicly shared a photo of my fupa and it felt absolutely amazing! I did it so in hopes to make others can feel more comfortable and free to not hide anything. We all deserve to live fun, bold and fearless lifestyles. I refuse to be defined by someone else's definition of beauty when that's not what God intended for me. Confidence is a choice and everyday you can wake up loving yourself a little more than yesterday and do it with a smile on your face. 

Monique Howard