My Reason for Celebration

Happy 4th of July Everybody!

I had an amazing time shooting with the lovely Olivia B over the holiday weekend. I had so much fun! People are asking why I'm celebrating "Independence Day" even though I'm Black and we still aren't free. I usually just enjoy the day off and the cookout with my family, but after receiving these photos today and really seeing the joy on my face, I can proudly say I am celebrating my own liberation today.

I am about a month away from my 24th birthday. 23 was a very rough year. I have had to deal with self identity issues, heartbreak and a level of loss that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. There was a time when I felt completely broken, just moving along with the motions. I wasn't living life, just sitting in my sorrow at rock bottom. 

One day, my pastor preached a sermon about favor. In times when we feel broken and beat up, we may think God has abandoned us. Oh no sweetie, that's when God loves us the most. Pastor Kinloch (yes, I go to Triumph) said you can't have a break through until God has broken you. You have to hit rock bottom so God can mold you. That breakdown I was having was God finding something favorable in me so that I can be prepared for the breakthrough. 

Now, I'm not the most religious person in the world and this blog won't be filled with religious thoughts. I just want to share with you all the wonderful woman God has created in the last 6 months. I don't know what favor He found during that breakdown but I'm glad He did. I am so much stronger than I was at the start of my 23rd chapter. I am happier. The joy you see radiating off my face is real; nothing faked for the camera. I am living life how I see fit; not letting anyone dictate what I should be doing or living by their standards. I've stopped code switching for people and I've reintroduced my true self to society (and P.S. people are loving her). 

Not to be narcissistic but I am so in love with the woman I have become. I look back on that dark time in my life and I cherish it. It was what I needed to go through to get to this happiness and this light. So yes, I am enjoying the Fourth of July as Independence Day; not necessarily for this country but for the freedom I have found within. 

Now go enjoy some ribs and save me a plate!