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February 2015

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Why I Chose to be Single + Playlist

Happy Lighten Up Thursday! We’ve shifted out of the Steps to Success era and are now on the SS Health and Happiness Ship. Today’s stop: relationships.  The featured image above is brought to you by the tumblr blog “Boss Bitch Tips”, which an excellent daily source of motivation for young women struggling to be stronger. 

Recently, it seems the last batch of people became publicly aware of my decision to terminate my relationship. I’d been a part of it for a little over a year and I asked everyone around me not to plunder the guy with negativity. The decision was exclusively mine. Now, I’m officially comfortable with sharing why I chose to be single and hopefully it inspires those struggling as well.

Awareness

How many times have you pulled something out of the oven or microwave too soon? You didn’t know it until you took a bite, but it was severely uncooked. I’ve done it plenty of times but what I’m about to tell you is a lot like that so remember that feeling. I’m 23 years old, and I’ve finally just learned what love means to me. A year ago, I had no idea what it meant to love myself but I knew I could still be true to another. I quit my job, pursued my dreams, and became a spokesperson for change. All of this came so unexpectedly. Things completely changed in less than one year. Everything that I thought I knew became something I was learning again.

The scariest thing you can do is change everything that your significant other fell in love with right before their eyes. If these changes don’t match who you used to be, the other becomes confused or worse.. hurt. It’s like going to bed the night before your wedding and waking up beside a complete stranger.

Love is beautiful but so is change. Change is a spontaneous seed that grows when you least expect it. It dares you to be prepared and to embrace it. Rarely are we ever ready.

I sure wasn’t.

Why I Chose to Be Single

When I changed, I learned that stress was huge for me. A lot of my stress was managing my time and my focus. Will I be able to finish my homework in enough time to go out tonight? Space was also a huge thing for me, which is something I’ve never craved. I had lost myself in this love and through depriving my mind of its space, the foundation of who myself and my partner were had become a rocky road. It wasn’t fair. Not to him, and not to myself. So I sat him down and explained my metamorphosis. I explained how to me, change didn’t feel wrong. The discovery of myself would take me getting some space to rediscover and I urged him to do the same. Immediately, he began making changes for himself. He began working out and eating better. It was like through our separation, we both found growth.

Breaking up doesn’t always have to be bad. Sometimes it just means stepping back and understanding the you that you’ve become.

To anyone who feels the same way:

Don’t feel guilty for explaining. Everyone is fighting their own battle. Be conscious of that when you hear their response. Breaking up is not something that is typically taken positively so be prepared for that. Stellar communication and understanding are a huge part of the decision to remain friends.  They can help you. Be respectful and vocal. (Also, be aware that those aren’t oxymorons.)

It’s also okay to remain friends but it’s not a requirement. If it’s too difficult for one of you, it’s okay to make the decision that won’t endanger your solidarity.

Lastly, don’t turn back until you’re ready. My business was a huge part of my decision to break up. I needed full focus and splitting time was nearly impossible. A friend of mine took a totally different approach. Absence made his heart grow fonder and he and his lady returned to their natural togetherness in just two weeks. Whatever you choose to do is okay as long as you are honest with yourself and your other.

Take your time.


 

As Promised, For my ladies:

Here’s a playlist to inspire independent thinking. It’s okay to be single. The playlist is very diverse so feel free to canoodle through it and tell me which ones you guys like!

Unstoppable – Kat Deluna
Feeling Myself – Nicki Minaj Ft. Beyonce
Extraordinary- Mandy Moore
Now I’m that Bitch – Livvi Franc
Private Party – India Arie
Spotless Mind – Jhene Aiko
Q.U.E.E.N – Janelle Monae Ft. Erykah Badu
Pretty Girl Rock – Keri Hilson
Vanity – Christina Aguilera
I am Light – India Arie

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From Scene Queen to Snow Queen.

Scene Queen To Snow Queen

So, you guys remember the MySpace days, right? ::crickets:: Oh come on, you know you do! Don’t be ashamed of it! Back when everything was glam, glitz, and fierce. Most scene kids had a screename with at least three Xs in it and AIM was what was happening. Curveball: Scene is everything Mandy is not but we thought we’d have some fun this time around. So, the shoot starts off with that girl that everyone wanted to be… That scene queen with the grr face but transforms into a real model.

You should’ve seen the girls’ face when I told them about this… Oh wait.

Mandy Hamil - Snow Queen- Jasemine Denise Photography-2

Okay, so maybe it was a bit crazy to dress an amazing cosplay model up in a 2001- esque tutu with glitter lips in like 20 degree weather… Believe me when I say that it was totally worth it!

The Scene Queen

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See, she wasn’t that cold! Now for the Second Snow Queen!

After we got Mandy out of the freezing cold world of a really small tutu and her glittery lips, she decided to try on a more sophisticated grown model look. See the trick is, as a younger person… We just want to be a star. We don’t care the consequences, the cold, etc… As we get older, we learn that you can still be just as infamous and gorgeous but be even warmer. Here’s the Mandy everyone is used to seeing, reclaiming her professional model style.

It was an instant hit…. as you can see!

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Winter Scene Watermarked Teaser

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Isn’t she gorgeous? 

This is the first Monthly Dose of the beautiful Many that you’ll be getting, but this definitely isn’t her first shoot! As a matter of fact, it’s her third. The first one is from Halloween last year! Stay tuned and don’t forget to follow Mandy on Instagram! 

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A Special Valentine’s Day Session- Anthony And Isaliz

Happy Valentine’s Day! This is one of my favorite holidays because as a photographer, the most important thing to me is capturing real, raw emotional. What’s more emotional then real love?

This Valentine’s Day…

Jasemine Denise Photography - Anthony and Isaliz

Anthony and Isaliz are one of those couples you thank God for bringing into your life. They combine both equal parts humor with absolute adorableness to create the image of stunning. I’m proud to introduce to you Anthony and Isaliz. He is a man who loves video games and Angry Birds. She is a woman who loves pink and Hello Kitty. Somehow, someway these two found each other and created something impeccable together.

It also worth noting that Anthony cut his beard for this session. After much fluttering eyelashes and “but you’ll look so fo-ine.” pleas from his lady lady love, it surprised even me that he ended up taking leap.

Anthony and Isaliz Jasemine Denise Photography

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Anthony And Isaliz- Jasemine Denise Photography

 

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And after all the long kisses and posing… I just let them run wild and let me tell you… They… went… wild!

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Don’t you just love them? I mean not only are they matching outfits but they’re also matching personality! The best part is that both of them have an Instagram and you can follow both him and her! You can also subscribe to the blog to see more awesome shoots coming your way!

Also: Check out my post on what love means to me.  I mean, it all feels appropriate.


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Fan Friday: Souled Out Jhene Aiko.

I haven’t fallen madly in love with an album since Camp. The first time I ever heard it, I fell crazy in love but this isn’t about that.. One of these days I’m going to write you guys an one thousand page paper on the glory of Gambino but today… Today is Fan friday and see the thing about some albums are that they are not just about music. They’re stories.

Souled Out is no different. It’s passionate, it’s realistic, and most of all it’s honest. Personally, I can’t say that the whole album is for me but I can say that this is my favorite among Jhene Aiko’s collection.

Souled Out Jhene Aiko Review:
Why?

Backstory: 

Jhene Aiko lost her brother a little while back and she’s made it very vocal how close they were and what they shared. She also has a daughter who she’s featured in music videos alongside Childish Gambino (squeals) and her baby’s father O’Ryan. In each song and video on this album, Jhene gives us an up close look into her personal life and a bit of our own.

Why do I like it? 

This album specifically speaks to my heart. If you’re a victim of loss at any point in your life, that never goes away. You never stop relating to anyone else’s loss. So, the moment I heard the song “W.A.Y.S.” I knew that I needed Kleenex. I knew it was going to hit home, this album. The lyrics to WAYS depicts a song about a woman who has experienced loss but is still picking herself up and finding herself despite it. Promises had the same effect on me. I felt like the more I listened to the album, the more I related. Even Lyin King ignited a fire in me. This album has the emotional works. I could find a line about myself in every track on the album.

What’s the best part about it? 

To me, this record is for anyone who is experiencing change. It can be earth shattering, it can be small, but with Souled Out it is encouraged.

Where Did I First Discover the artist?

Shaelessly, I’ll admit that my love for Childish Gambino’s music is what brought me to Jhene. I’m fully aware that she had a career before that with a pretty impressive rap sheet, but I passed her up prior. (What can I say, I’m not easily impressed.) To me, Comfort Inn was like a soulful song that I could picture playing on the radio with Adele’s voice attached to it. That is, until I heard the extended version. That caused me to venture into Jhene Aiko’s discography which eventually led me to anticipate the next album’s review. I wanted to see growth. I wanted to see substance. I knew she had a lot of tracks about relationships but I wanted to hear Jhene.

I was not disappointed. I felt like I learned so much about myself through learning about Jhene.

Memorable Lyrics: 

Jhene aiko Souled Out Lyrics

Change is it inevitable. Why hold on to what you have to let go of? – Wanderer. 

I wish your mother loved you like I could’ve. That way you would’ve known how to love a woman- Lyin King

There’s really no fail, there’s really no winning. – W.A.Y.S

If you asked me for my favorite quote, I’d send you whole songs. All I can say is this much.. If you’re a soul searcher… Someone who really wants to be in touch with themselves on a deeper level, Souled Out is really worth a listen. I mean, why else would I be fangirling about it!?

What’s your favorite album out right now?

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How to Become Successful in One Step.

I interrupt your regularly scheduled Tuesday to bring you the answer to the most important question of all: How do I succeed? Now, keep in mind that this is one step that has smaller steps and they all sound alike. So I decided to sum it up in three words. This has helped me as both a writer and a photographer.

 

Believe in Yourself. 

Wait!! Don’t back out because of the cliches. Listen and don’t be shy to click the bigger words and red links. Consider them my references and “cliche escape router.” They are keys to last year’s car meant to guide you on your own journey. It’s already gassed up and everything. This year will teach you how to maintain a healthy and happy lifestyle for your success so getting down the steps to success comes first.

How To Become Successful:

Well, how do I believe in myself?

 

Step one: Gas yourself up.

We are told not to be cocky which often is synonymous to confident. Breaking the laws here, I’m going to tell you to look in your mirror and be cocky everyday. Tell yourself you’re hot and why. Write it down and memorize it because when someone asks you “Why are you qualified for this position?” or “Why should we hire you?”, you’ll have multiple answers inside of your back pocket. Remember: A successful person can identify what paved the way for their success.

 

Step Two: Do not under any circumstances give up.

Overcoming the fear to succeed in the first place is huge. Don’t give up just because it’s getting hard. Part of believing in yourself is believing that you can do it.

 

Step Three: Support yourself.

However you need to do it, you need to support yourself first. Stay disciplined and have rewards for yourself that will motivate you to do better. One of my fellow bloggers/writers/success seekers Veronica N. Davis said it best–“It takes an incredible amount of strength and confidence to change your life, but it is true that if the path you are taking is not getting you where you want to be you have to change it.” Don’t forget to be mindful of your “pseudo supporters.”

 

Step Four: Don’t stop believing in yourself ever. 

I don’t care how hard times get. Don’t ever lose sight of the ultimate goal. This leads me to my last step which ties all of it together:

 

Believe in yourself unconditionally.
Keep your head up and remember that loving yourself no matter what is half the battle. 


This blog brings the Steps To Success to a close. Stay tuned because next week, we go back to our regularly scheduled program and the Lighten Up Thursdays start getting us down the health and happiness journey. We’re going to learn to be healthy, happy, and successful together.

Namaste and Stay gorgeous. <3

PS: Subscribe to the newsletter and take the journey with me!