Things I Would Tell My Younger Self

Hey, hunayys! So last week on IG, I asked y’all a question that really had me thinking: “If you could give your 13 year old self advice, what would it be?!” And your responses were literally giving me life because even though we’ve all come from different backgrounds, so many of us went through similar struggles.

Middle school, man… a crazy awkward time that I think most of us would rather forget, HA! T’was brutal AF but also def the experience that changed me forever. When I say brutal, I mean, there were days where I would think to myself, “how life would be easier if I just had a different name, different identity…”

Mother nature hit me in 5th grade, so by the time I entered middle school, ya girl had hips and breasts, thicc thighs, the whole nine. At first I was excited because I was becoming a woman!! But my eager ass was surely surprised when I arrived to school feeling like a freak, why was I the only who hit puberty?! This is when what felt like a living hell, ensued. Rumors spread quickly that I lost it, where at and with who. These stories were elaborate y’all. I was even “pregnant” a few times according to these people, at freaking age 11 because of my wider hips! LIKE WHAT?! At first, I just tried to keep my head down and try not to let it get to me. But over time, I was cornered at my locker, followed home, pranked called non-stop, and called out for my clothing choices on a daily basis! I remember one day specifically, I was wearing a skirt that my mom and I went shopping together for and as I sat down in the cafeteria, this girl stood up and yelled at me, “so you think you can just walk around here with those big ass hips, wearing that skirt? You must really think you’re hot shit. Come here and show us all how “hot” you really are!” And obviously humiliation ensued. I felt so damn small. Like these hips were out of my control, like I get it, they developed outta the woodworks HAHA but like leave Britney alone!! As shook as I was in that moment, I had to wonder? When will this hell end? I fucking hated it here. I hated my body for doing this to me! Why couldn’t it just stay the same as it was before. It was bringing so much unwanted attention, ugh! If I tried to dress modest, I got sh*t! If I dressed just like the other girls in my classes, I was then somehow promiscuous. Like I could never win!! There were so many days I would eat lunch in a teacher’s classroom, or the bathroom just to limit the amount of walking around campus. In desperation,

I finally decided to ask my parents, “why do I look so different than all of the other girls in school?” With much disappointment, they advised that I only had one option here: embrace my body, period. And I remember thinking, “but how can I, when literally it has been the cause of all this bullshit I’m going through?!” But before I could even verbalize that, they continued…

Because if I didn’t, I would spend my entire life, hating a body that did absolutely nothing wrong to me. And in fact, where I went wrong, was allowing all this time to go by without standing my ground. After a real “aha” moment with myself, I finally made the decision to take my power back. I WILL flaunt what I was given, like how dare I ever hide all that I was to make others comfortable? 

That conversation forever changed my life.

I realized that if I did not accept, own, and defend who I really was, then I’d be leaving room for other’s to make that decision for me.

I may have continued to be picked apart because of my appearance, my extra ass personality, and everything in between but what guess? I no longer shamed myself for any of it!  I would occasionally still eat lunch alone, but honestly, that didn’t bother me much; my lonely ass would happily eat my food in peace. But the thing I noticed about these people, is that they were bothered that I was no longer cracking.

And that was the sweetest victory. Self-love is taking your power back! For the years following, I always made sure to remind myself about that 7th grade conversation. From 8th grade on, I was untouchable! The human spirit in strong AF! I truly believe if you learn how to be secure in who you are, no rumor, no shitty person, no event will shake you!

I am so thankful for those people, b/c of them, I discovered the necessity of self-love and hellllurrr, they paved the way for a body posi queen! Now, as I’m inching closer to my 30’s, holy sh*t, I am so damn proud of the woman I have become. I love my “big ass hips,” I love my curves, and I love my cellulite, b/c you know what? That’s what makes Jasmin, Jasmin.

Looking back, I cry for my 11-13 year-old self. I cry for the girl who looked at her curves with tears in her eyes and desperately prayed for another body. The girl who felt like a freak.

If only I could tell her, that all this BS is temporary. You will freaking flourish to a woman so sure of herself that no one can break! Just hold on a little longer boo, because your time will come! Just note, these people will always find something to talk about, hate does not discriminate! So, have freaking grit, and always remember that beauty shines from within. If you learn to love yourself now, you will live a powerful f*cking life!

So much love to all my girls who went through some ish to get to where we are now! What I’ve learned is that these trolls, these mean girls, these bitter souls will always be around, for the rest of our lives… BUT if we remember who TF we are, we will always win! Xo

How to Make the Leap and Transition Into Full-Time Blogging

I STILL CAN’T BELIEVE I AM WRITING THIS PIECE!! AHH, WHAT A DREAM COME TRUE!

So before I proceed, I just have to say, THANK YOU to every single one of you for making this new chapter in my life possible! As y’all have probably noticed, my blog posts have been brought to a minimum in the past couple of months but that is because I’ve been working my bootayyy off in other realms to ensure this plan of mine panned out. Eek, still feels surreal!

MY JOURNEY:

So, lets go back 4 years ago (senior yr of college). I remember seconds before walking the stage, I said to myself, “I have no idea what the hell the next 4 years hold, but let’s effing gooooo” and moments later walked that stage with so much faith and happiness. But once the euphoria settled, I found myself job searching and unemployed in a coffee shop one week later. For those 8 long hours, I remember casually scrolling through my social media and seeing what felt like 95% of all my peers post offer letters to their first big-girl job! I was #Jelly . WHAT THE HELL WAS I GOING TO DO?!

All throughout college, I held internships at some of my dream companies, but 0 full-time offers were made. I studied sociology and communication and had a focus in broadcast journalism. My passions lied specifically in sports broadcasting and entertainment reporting. And although I loved my university, I realized early on that my school did not provide the same resources or tools to those pursuing this specificity among the communication major than they did per say, those pursuing marketing or sales. So although discouraged, I had to remind myself that this was the not so traditional career path I decided to pursue.

One month later, I was working at my dream network! I was ecstatic! BUTTTT, as most of my friends were beginning their careers making 65K +, I was damn near surviving. I had to pick up two other jobs to live close to comfortably. WHAT HAVE I DONE?

But again, this was my passion. I was well aware it would take YEARS before I was making anything close to that and even longer before I was in placed in front of the camera…but it felt worth it to me! I wanted to give people an escape from all the ugliness going on in the world. I wanted to connect and engage with an audience, as I had in my college work. But as entry level as I was, those desires were obviously not being fulfilled. I felt so much fire and passion but had the inability to channel that energy.

SO I had an epiphany. Clearly, my energy was being misplaced. If the industry was not going to pave the way for me, I HAD to CREATE one for myself.

AND THIS IS WHERE THE JOURNEY TO THE UNTRADITIONAL ROUTE BEGAN.

After two years in the entertainment industry, I realized I could still work towards all those goals of connecting and “broadcasting” certain messages but through a different way. And in all honesty, a girl had to survive. I remember my mom telling me to think long term. She said, “although I know this is what you want to do, you are barely affording rent. Maybe you have to put your dream on hold and work in a higher paying industry for the time being.” And I remembered those words pained me. But through a shift of perspective, I realized I could still fulfill all those things but on a much micro level. I then had the idea of a podcast. I could still work a BS decent paying day job but have the ability to pour my passions into something I believed in after the 9-5. And that’s exactly what I did. Luckily at that time, my then bf had all the equipment to begin one. But life happened, shortly after, we broke-up and boom, here I was, sitting in an office cubicle, working in an industry that was so far removed from what I studied, left with with that same unfulfilled passion taunting me.

NOW WHAT? WHAT CAN I DO RIGHT NOW TO CHANNEL MY PASSIONS AND TRUTH?

In that exact time, my dad unexpectedly passed away and I was left with this massive hole. My education and career meant everything to my dad. But here I was chasing this dream that felt unattainable, but even worse, working in an environment I loathed. At this point, I felt like an absolute failure. Now, several years out of college, I was not happy, not fulfilled, unsure of my career path, all while seeing my college buddies living their best lives, most in managerial positions within their companies, and not to mention…making the type of bank I could only dream of! Where did I go wrong? Did my decision to follow my dreams actually screw me over in the long term? Should I have just succumbed to a field that I hated from the beginning to at least propel me in any sort of direction professionally? I KNEW I WAS DESTINED FOR MORE, UGH!

These are questions I also projected onto my family and friends. My best friend was the person who nudged me. She said “you continuously asking all these questions will not get you anywhere. DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.”

That next week, alllthatjas.com (this blog) was born. The day I finally began drafting my very first blog post, this feeling of overwhelming peace flushed over me. It almost felt like this was God’s and the universe’s way of saying, “I GOT CHU.” And even though, I was writing to my 1k family and friends on social media, that ability to FINALLY speak and channel all those years of pent of energies, was the most liberating feeling I had felt to that date.

Ugh, I remember sharing my post to my co-worker in that office and she said, “whoa, I’m actually really excited for you and want to read more, do you have any more content?!” And in that moment, I realized that exchange alone was the type of connection, I’d been longing for.

For that next year, I continued to share myself with my 1k audience. It was my only form on expression in a very monotonous unfulfilling corporate world. There were countless amount of days where I would look around the office thinking, “so many of us are working tirelessly towards a goal that isn’t our own!” Yes, we were crunching numbers every day, doing what we were told to do, but were any of us even fulfilled or most importantly happy?!

And although we saw our parents work these jobs, following the American way, by which if you work hard, you will then in turn have equal opportunity to become successful, did that mean we too had to follow this?

My personal beliefs led me to believe that the answer was a huge, fat, NO! Just because we are raised in cultures that teach us we must conform to a certain way of living, does not mean we have to continue in live in such a damaging vortex.

And every morning, I would read the following quote by Steve Jobs and remind myself that this was only temporary. A more fulfilling life lied ahead…

“When you grow up you tend to get told the world is the way it is and your life is just to live your life inside the world.

Try not to bash into the walls too much. Try to have a nice family life, have fun, save a little money.

That’s a very limited life.

Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact: Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you and you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use.

Shake off this erroneous notion that life is there and you’re just gonna live in it, versus embrace it, change it, improve it, make your mark upon it.

Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.” – Steve Jobs 

Every morning I felt inspired by his words to make something of myself, because that to me was the only way to get out of a world I hated so much.

Once bae and I began dating, I shared my dreams with him of one day, being able to work for myself and give 100% of me to issues and content that were actually fulfilling. (You can read how we began our journey in depth here: How to *Honestly* Balance the 9-5 With a Side Hustle ).

Ah, one year later, here we are. I’ve connected with so many souls and it all started here…sharing my unfiltered voice and experiences with the world.  This was what I was aiming to do… my entire life! This is where I am meant to be! I love it with my entire heart and soul!

THE DECISION

A few months ago, I realized I had come to the point where I just had to make that leap of faith and decide what I wanted for my life. I just felt like I was living a lie. I’m going into a space where even though I was physically present, my heart and soul were else where. I, day in and day out had this tugging on my heart which kept leading me back to this…my platform. HOLY CRAP, CAN I ACTUALLY DO THIS FULL-TIME? CAN I LET GO OF THE STABILITY OF THE FAMILIAR AND EMBRACE THE UNKNOWN?!

QUEUE THE ANXIETY, Y’ALL!

I had toyed around with this idea for years really, if you think about it, but naturally we are all wired to go with what feels safe. But remember y’all, “safe” can actually be detrimental. After all these struggling years, my mom understood my decision and that meant everything to me! And I’m sure if my dad were still here, he would too!

So I went in with the confidence in my abilities and self to be up front with my employer and ask for their support during this time. I honestly was a mess, as I thought they would laugh in my face and close the door on me. But, I feel they entirely blessed that they gave me the opportunity to transition out, so this is where we are at.

I seriously can’t believe I am manifesting all that I’ve ever dreamt about! I wanted that connection, that ability to channel my energies to what mattered to me, and no longer submit to a work culture that I felt was damaging on the human soul.

SO THE HOW:

*And this will look different for everyone*

  1. DOES THIS WORK SET YOUR SOUL ON FIRE?!
    • Yes, it mostly stems as a hobby, but make sure this is what brings you joy and fulfillment. If you can picture doing this for many many many more years to come, that is telling the longevity of your passion.
  2. TRUST IN YOUR ABILITIES TO SUCCEED:
    • Believe in thy self, sis! Have the understanding that you are a powerful force. You have the ability to manifest literally any single thing you envision for your life. Be your #1 fan! Know in your heart that you were created for something greater, now it is just your job to unfold what that looks like.
  3. REVISIT YOUR RATES:
    • If you have not already, create a media kit! This is where you pitch your rates to brands. But if you are thinking of transitioning into full-time blogging, you most likely will have to adjust your rates to your needs.
    • Calculate how many collaborations you would need to match your current salary or at least what could get you by.
  4. BE WILLING TO SACRIFICE: 
    • If your job does not support you in this decision, are you willing to leave the stability of your bi-weekly paycheck and pick up random gigs across the city?
    • Are you willing to be open to the uncertainties and judgements that come along with self-employment?
  5. HAVE AN EMERGENCY FUND:
    • If shit hits the fan and blogging is slow for an entire month, would you be able to still pay the bills?!
    • I’ve read that having 3 months worth of funds is a good place to start thinking about this.
  6. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH PEOPLE WHO WHOLEHEARTEDLY BELIEVE IN YOU. 
    • We only got time for those who see our greatest potential. Half ass energy and support is a definite NOOO at this stage. If this means to cut your circle in half, by all means!
  7. HAVE DISCIPLINE!
    • This is no longer a hobby, boo! This is your livelihood! Nourish it, give it more life every single day, and in this way, I truly believe it’ll give you that and then some long term!
  8. UNDERSTAND THAT IF NOT NOW, THEN WHEN?!
    • If you have a dream but you are allowing your fears, anxieties, family, friends, etc. etc. to hold you back, you will NEVER propel to where you were meant to be. There will be never be a “right” time. Ask yourself, “if I died tomorrow, could I look back and see that I was in pursuit of the life I had envisioned for myself?” JUST DO IT, BOO!

AHH, so I know this was long AF so kuddos if you are still here! I just know there are so many of us out there waiting on some sort of sign. If you are reading this and need the nudge to take your life to the next level, LET THIS BE IT! Trust me y’all! This is scary as hell for me, but I am so damn proud and grateful that I am manifesting all that I have struggled for and dreamt of. All those years of unfulfilment, feelings of inadequacy, defeat, comparison, dun, dun, dun…..SHE HAS FINALLY ARRIVED! I think it’s sooooo important to realize this is YOUR LIFE! There is no right way of going about it! Your path may look different than every single one around you, but sis, (or bro- lol), live your best life, #noragrets!

I love you all and THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for letting me live out my wildest dreams!!!! XOXO, Jas ❤

 

Owning Who You Are

So, aside from this topic being close to my heart, I’ve also gotten several requests to expand on this on the blog! So, yay!

If you know me well, you’d know that I’m really unapologetically me. And although this has gotten me in soo much trouble in my life (LOL ugh), I feel blessed to have accepted and loved myself from a really young age. I mean, after alllll, we spend more time with ourselves than we ever will spend with anyone else in life.

Owning who you are is a complex matter. There is our inner and outer self. Do our inner and outer selves align? This is a huge question. Your inner self pertains to your values, personality, thoughts, etc. Where as your outer self is what we present to the world; this can include our physical appearance as well.

To me, having a strong inner self is reflected through self-awareness, knowing what you want in this life, being mindful of your feelings, and having clarity in handling them. I think a strong sense of outer self is having the ability to act in ways that avoid putting up a facade for others- aka behaving in ways that differ from what you ultimately feel on the inside. *Aligning both inner and outer self is important because I think this is where our personal happiness meets. *

Okay, so now I’d like to dive a bit deeper. Let’s backtrack to 5th grade. This year was possibly one of the biggest turning points in my life. On this particular day, my parents gave me the two options that forever changed me. Okay, so earlier that day during “weigh-ins,” my P.E. teacher was going around the circle giving everyone their weight for reference. When he got to me, he whispered my weight into my ear, and I instantly became the laughing stock of the class. But in that moment, I wasn’t nearly as embarrassed as you would think. I was actually annoyed at my teacher for attempting to exclude me from the general group practice rather than the kids making fun of me. I mean, I knew I had newly developed hips, but I wasn’t an at-risk overweight youth. So anywayyy. When I got home I remember asking my parents, “why do I look so different than all of the other girls in school?” And my parents then presented me with two options. “Well, Jasmin, you could either embrace your body and all that you are or embrace your body and all that you are. Which one will it be?” And I’m pretty sure that conversation molded my confidence and self acceptance going forward.

As the years past, I kept that conversation close to my heart. And from that young age, I did an inventory check of myself. Who was I? At the time, I gathered that I was stubborn, loud, fiercely passionate, sassy (aka extra), independent kid. And honestly not much has changed. Anyway, I attended three different middle schools. Now I would hate to use the word “bullied” (as I always stood up for myself) but lets just say, some days were torture!! I was picked apart because of my appearance, my extra ass personality, and everything in between. There were even days that I would eat lunch alone-but honestly, that didn’t bother me much; my lonely ass would happily eat my food in peace. But the thing I noticed about these people, is that they were bothered that I wasn’t cracking. Of course there were one or two times that I felt overwhelmed, but I had to remind myself about that 5th grade conversation. If I did not accept, own, and defend who I really was, then I’d be leaving room for other’s to make that decision for me. I truly believe if you are secure in who you are, no rumor, no shitty person, no event will shake you!

And I know some people may say that being secure in your own skin is much easier said than done, but I say that is the only choice you have. You can either own who you are or own who you are! There is no other option!

Believe me when I say, I’ve gotten into a lot of sh*t because of who I am (eeek) but at the end of the day, I know that my inner and outer self (for the most part) align…and hell, I know I’m a bad ass. Don’t allow comparison, shitty people, or doubt hinder your ability to own and love who you are!

If you are struggling with self acceptance, I’d advise to re-frame the ways in which you speak to yourself. Possibly list down the pros and cons of who you are, ask yourself if your actions and presentation to others mirrors what you really feel on the inside, and remember that you have to live with yourself for the rest of your life, so might as well love (clap) thy (clap) self (clap) !! Xo

How Being With the Right Partner Should Boost Your Confidence

Recently I had a conversation with an old friend which compelled me to write this piece.

As we were catching up, she was expressing how happy she was to see me happy. And not the fake illusion of happiness some of us display on social media, but the recent genuine confidence she saw in my smile the few times I’ve posted with my man. She explained that before in my past relationship, she sensed “something was just off.” And she was right. As I mentioned in previous posts, I was not in a healthy relationship. In simple terms, we just were not the right fit for each other, and to almost overcompensate for what we lacked, I guess, I tried to convince myself and others (through my posts) that things were alright. And this is something, I think that many of us have unknowingly done at one point or another. It’s just that some people are able to call “BS” on this illusion we put out. Back then, I felt as if my passions were not important. My ambitions were knocked down at times and hence, the value I thought I brought to this world was suppressed. I began to analyze myself differently and double think on essentially anything I stood for.

I was not only lacking confidence on an individual and creative level, but also on a relational level. When there is instability and uncertainty in the relationship, it is hard to  maintain confidence in the relationship. You wonder how much longer either one of you can take.

I think it is not only important to be with someone who is supportive in all of your ventures, but also with someone who shares the same interests and morals as you. In this way, your partner can appreciate the avenues you decide to take on and even find enthusiasm in joining you in some of them! In addition, finding a partner whom you have built stability and cohesiveness with, enables an environment where both partners can feel fulfilled and assured. When your thoughts and feelings are validated, you are reminded that you are important and cared for, thus your partner is helping nurture the relationship.

In short, my friend was right! In retrospect, I feel so much more comfortable in my own skin than ever before. And although, this process begins within, meeting the right person can most definitely compliment and boost your overall morale.