Woman Wednesday: Leilani & The Little Things

*Note: Woman Wednesday is a part of our blog. Each Woman Wednesday post will feature a woman who would like to share information in the hopes of inspiring and motivating other women. Comments are welcome below. 


 

“I wrote this book about the little things. These are the little things in life we look over day by day, although they are always there. These are the little things that got me through the storm. These are the little things I want to share with you to cheer you up when you need a friend or when you need a reminder or a little sprinkle of sunshine. If we learn to see the world differently, our days may be a little brighter.  If we learn to see the good, the world becomes a better place to live.” –Leilani Romero, author of “The Little Things

 

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The holidays are right around the corner! Although it’s all very exciting, it can also be stressful. Sometimes, we just need to remind ourselves of the little things in life.

You may remember Leilani Romero from one of our first Woman Wednesdays! We invited her back to discuss her book (which is now published), the self-publishing process (how to publish a book), and what motivated her to create and publish this book called, “The Little Things.”

Also, we get to see a sneak peek inside her book that is exclusively being shown here (and here only)! Keep reading for more:

 

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 Pictured: Lemons in watercolor by Leilani Romero (a sneak peek inside “The Little Things”).

 

Q: What is “The Little Things“?

A: “The Little Things” is a collection of happy things in one book! It is a yellow pocket of all things good, and it is a reminder of happy. This little book will lift your spirits, brighten your day, cheer up your soul, and encourage kindness. With the power of positivity, the world can change… I believe, one smile at a time. Meditate on these things, and good will come.

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Q: What is the self-publishing process like? 

A: For those who have always wondered how the book publishing process works, it isn’t as difficult as it may seem! I have always said I wanted to publish one day, but I wasn’t sure how it would all go. Like all big projects, you have to take it one step at a time. Here are the steps that I have taken:

 

  1. Write and illustrate – Get all your ideas out there (the good and bad). As for illustrations, I created those by hand using watercolors and then scanned them in to digitize.

 

  1. Edit – Find a good editor who will understand your vision and trust the process. I am lucky enough to have an amazing brother (who is also a published writer) to edit my book!

 

  1. Find a printer – There are so many printers to choose from these days and not all force you to print in bulk. These days, some vendors will also handle the printing (ex. Amazon or Blurb)!

 

  1. Get an ISBN – Depending on the printer, this process might be included with the vendor, or you can independently purchase the ISBN on your own.

 

  1. Design the book by page and format – As a designer, I designed my own in Adobe In Design, but some printers can handle the PDF creation process for you!

 

  1. Print the darn thing!

 

  1. Launch on a jump-starting platform – I decided to have my 30-day campaign on Indiegogo, but there are quite a few others, such as Kickstarter!

 

  1. Apply to sell your book in stores, local shops, and online.

 

I hope this helps anyone who is interested in or considering the self-publishing route!

 

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Pictured: “The Little Things” exclusive “sneak peek” of what can be found inside. 

 

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Pictured: “The Little Things” exclusive “sneak peek” of what can be found inside. 

 

Q: Why did you write this book?

A: A few years back, I was seriously struggling in the world. With creativity comes frustration, self-criticism, and heartbreak. Behind all the glitter-covered castles I built, were often anxious times that included 3:00 AM tears pouring down (that hard work and dedication brought along with them). Without these, there would be no success, growth, or marvelous magic. Fittingly so, I created this book at the end of college, not only as a project but as a suitable end to an era. In life, there’s good little things and bad little things. And these can pile up. These good little things may be some that are taken for granted. Truth be told, in life, we never know what others are going through. I, for one, am a bubbly soul by nature, and because of this, I have often times felt the expectation or burden to always appear so. The reality is that we all have our good days and gray ones too. And that’s okay.

 

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I wrote this book about the little things. This book is about the little things in life we look over day by day, although they are always there. These are the little things that got me through the storm. These are the little things I want to share with you. To cheer you up when you need a friend or when you need a reminder or a little sprinkle of sunshine. The good is so much bigger than the bad.

I took great care to hand paint and illustrate and write all 64 pages. 64 pages of beauty, 64 pages of good. These are pages created to promote mindfulness and good mental health. These pages are meant to remind you of the small parts of your day that can make a huge difference in your quality of life –the genuine and the wonderful. These pages, I created, with the purpose of making others happy.

 

If we learn to see the world differently, our days may be a little brighter.  If we learn to see the good, the world becomes a better place to live.

 

 

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Pictured: Sunflower watercolor painting, a sneak peek inside “The Little Things,” by Leilani Romero. 

 

Q: What would you like others to learn from your story?

A: Our day-to-day lives are full of little things. Unfortunately, research and personal experience have shown that we tend to fixate on the negatives and brush small positivities to the side.

My goal when hand-painting and writing this 64-page book was to collect reminders of all the little soul-filling, uplifting, and encouraging moments – the little things – that we may take for granted. Whether you turn to any page or flip through over time, “The Little Things” makes the perfect bedside or coffee table book to pick up throughout the day. Once I have enough funding, I will be able to get this book into local stores and online shops (like Barnes & Noble). A successful first book will allow me to continue to write new books and pursue my dreams of illustration.

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Pictured: “The Little Things” exclusive “sneak peek” of what can be found inside. 

 

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Pictured: “The Little Things” exclusive “sneak peek” of what can be found inside. 

 

 

There are only a few days left of Leilani’s Indiegogo book sale!

To purchase a copy of “The Little Things,” click here. 

To follow Leilani’s blog, click here.

 

 

Leilani & My Lilianas would love to hear from you! Comment below! 

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Woman Wednesday: Kristin

*Note: Woman Wednesday is a part of our blog. Each Woman Wednesday post will feature a woman who would like to share information in the hopes of inspiring and motivating other women. Comments are welcome below. 

 


Q and A with Kristin, Blogger of  The Tiny Red TornadoAnnapolis, Maryland

“There will always be so many outside opinions of people that think they know better or think they know you, but nobody knows you better than you. Also, nobody knows your vision better than you! Trust in yourself.” 

 

 

 

Q: What are you passionate about?

A:  This is a tough question; I have so many passions! My two biggest passions are women’s empowerment and art. My mom is a fiercely independent person, and my dad has always allowed her the freedom to be that. Throughout my entire life, I have appreciated that my parents were very clear that I could do whatever I set my mind to as long as I worked hard. They made it even more clear that I could do it by myself. Although my mother was super great at the encouragement part, she was not so great when it came to fashion choices. This one outfit always sticks out in my head; it consisted of purple corduroy pants and a white turtleneck with poodles all over it. It was, and it still is, 100% the most hideous outfit ever known to humankind. I am convinced that outfit is the reason I am so deeply passionate about art, more specifically, the beauty and fashion industry.

 

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Right now, I am a store manager of an ALDO shoe store by day and a lifestyle blogger at The Tiny Red Tornado by night. It is the holiday season in retail; a lot of my time is spent at my store. In regards to my blog, I am currently working on a body positivity series centered around women’s empowerment and self-love. This is very special to me because all women of all sizes have felt some sort of discomfort in their own skin for various reasons. It is my hope that we can all come together on this one issue and show the world that there is more to women than the outward appearance. We are CEOs and mothers. We are hardcore businesswomen, and at the same time, we can be guests at a stuffed animal tea party. We play with the big dogs, and we play with Thomas the Tank Engine. We watch Ted Talks and we watch Mickey Mouse Playhouse. Full disclosure, I am not a mom. I am an aunt to a wonderful ginger dude. My mom is a working mom, my sister is a working mom, and I am a working aunt. There are days I babysit all day long, and I am typing up things for my blog while watching Moana on repeat and pushing toy trucks around the floor. We can do it all, and we should love ourselves while we do it!

 

 

Q: What is something valuable you’ve learned that you’d like others to know?

A: Trust yourself. You know what is best for you and for your passion, whatever that may be. There will always be so many outside opinions of people that think they know better or think they know you, but nobody knows you better than you. Also, nobody knows your vision better than you!

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Q: What were your younger years like?

A: My younger years! Oh gosh, I loved my childhood! I don’t have any sad stories that shaped me or brought me to my passion. I have two very loving parents that let a small girl dream big and supported her through that. I also grew up with two super cool sisters that were my built-in best friends. My parents helped me pay for a summer program when I was in high school at the fashion school I later attended! I did a fashion merchandising and design program for high schoolers at VCU Arts, and it was genuinely life-changing. I was obsessed with the school, with the city, and with the education. I had always wanted to go to fashion school after high school, but my very practical dad could not see how that would support me in life, and he viewed it more as a hobby. Long story short, I applied to VCU Arts, and I was accepted and off to fashion school. I went with my dad cheering me on every step of the way! Honestly, my parents and my sisters are my biggest supporters. My little sister has always looked up to me (even though physically she looks down because I am the shortest of all three of us). We have always been close. Most of the time, she is the person I hang out with. My older sister has always been an old soul, so a lot of times she would act as a mother to me. She is the one I have had my definite ups and downs with throughout life, but I think it is because we are way more similar than we would like to admit. I would never admit this to her face, but I admire her. She made a life plan for herself at age three, and she fulfilled everything she set out to do. I have issues sticking to a diet, and she has never missed a step!

 

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Similar to my older sister and I, my mom and I have not always seen eye to eye. We found our footing around the time I turned 21, and for that, I am forever grateful. We have a lot in common that I didn’t always realize. Some of it great and some of it not so great, but weirdly the not so great stuff bonds us in a way that only we understand. My dad is the person I get my personality from. My childhood was amazing, and I have many things that have shaped me into who I am today, but nothing more than my dad. He taught me the value of a dollar, the value of hard work, and the value of myself. My family and I found out that my dad is battling Melanoma. I would say that this is the biggest thing that has shaped me because it puts life into a whole new perspective. My passions are still the same, but now they mean even more to me because my dad has always supported them even when he may not have understood. I work hard for myself because I have dreamed since I was a little girl to build a business doing something I love, but also to do something meaningful that helps others. I  work hard for my dad and for my family because life is short and they believe in me. Even on my days when I am exhausted and ready to fall asleep at my computer, I keep typing because my support system is downstairs cheering me on.

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Q: What would you like others to learn from your story?

A: If there is only one thing you gain from my story, then I hope you learn that you can do whatever you want to do as long as you work hard and keep a solid support system while doing it! Secondly, you can fall in love and have a family, but still be a feminist.

 

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Photography by: Chanel Photography

Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: This is my favorite question! I am a pretty hardcore feminist! I get so angry when people frown upon feminism or call women who identify themselves as a feminist, “man-haters.” I don’t hate men. I do not run around screaming that women are superior to men, and I certainly don’t demand things that I haven’t worked hard for and are well deserved. I define feminism as someone who believes in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes. We are equals. One is not superior to the other. I am a feminist because I believe that women are members of society that deserve a voice, and that voice deserves to be heard. We are strong, courageous, capable, and intelligent. Feminism is being independent and loving yourself for that. It is believing in yourself that you can do it all on your own and then doing it! Feminism is empowering and supporting other women.

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Get in touch with Kristin:

 

 

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Woman Wednesday: Megan

*Note: Woman Wednesday is a part of our blog. Each Woman Wednesday post will feature a woman who would like to share information in the hopes of inspiring and motivating other women. Comments are welcome below. 

 


Q and A with Megan, Baltimore, Maryland

“The future. Earth’s governments have fallen, succeeded by a unified military order. An elite group of soldiers, the Sentinels, protect Cotarion from marauders and neighbors alike. Within, shadowy forces at the highest levels conspire for the power they need to enact a mysterious agenda.

But now, something has changed.

Men and women have emerged, displaying superhuman abilities powerful enough to threaten the established order, and the High General commands Sentinel Cameron Kardell to track a superhuman gone rogue. A superhuman who holds the key to these powers’ origin. Who happens to be Kardell’s best friend. Who will reveal the truth of Cameron’s own origins.

The Altered now wake.” –Megan Morgan, Author of “The Altered Wake”

 

 

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: Stories are definitely my passion! I love reading them, writing them, and listening to them. I love figuring out what makes a story work and picking apart why some stories don’t work. I love discussing what stories mean to people. They’re everywhere, and we are all telling ourselves stories all the time about who we are and how we impact the world. They’re almost so ubiquitous that we often don’t realize just how important they are.

That impact of stories on our personal and larger social psychologies are why I’m so focused on writing stories that defy conventions. As a kid, I read a lot of science fiction and fantasy, and I loved how these kinds of stories could invert our perspective of the world. A lot of the main characters in the stories I read were male, and women usually had supporting roles. Things are better these days, but I still crave women as leading characters who drive the narrative of the stories they’re in, so that’s what I write. In fact, all of my characters defy stereotypes, or at least, that’s what I hope.
Now that my first novel, “The Altered Wake”, is out, I’m working on the second in the series, “The Altered Rise”. And like a lot of storytellers I know, I have more story ideas than I will ever have time to write!

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Q:What is something valuable you’ve learned that you’d like others to know?

A: I’ve been an army wife, and later, a single working mom to two awesome kids while writing my novels. I’ve written during ideal circumstances and completely awful circumstances. I’ve written when the words were easy and when they were hard. I’ve received heartbreaking rejection letters and even an email from a friend who was devouring my novel in a dental office. I boxed up all my manuscripts and put them on a shelf more than once. And eventually, I made the decision to get my work out into the world, even if I had to do it myself.

 
If there’s a lesson in all that, it’s that you just never stop. Surround yourself with people who believe in you. And don’t be afraid to work your butt off on what you believe in. Keep that little ember burning in the dark times, so that when there’s some kindling, it can ignite.

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Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I grew up in Fairmont, West Virginia, which is a really beautiful place. As a kid, I spent a lot of time catching frogs and swimming. My mom loves to read, and so she took my siblings and I to the library on the weekends. My dad was a schoolteacher, and he read us books every night before bed with the most amazing voices. I was so lucky to grow up with two parents who believed in the value of reading and who encouraged me so much as I began to write my own stories.

In junior high, I started writing longer mini-novels for my friends, and as they devoured the chapters I supplied to them, I was hooked. I could make my own narratives, worlds, and characters. Then other people would believe in them. I found that, for me, it was the best way to reach other people. And sometimes, putting words down on paper is the best way for me to understand myself.

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Q: What would you like others to learn from your story?

A: I think it’s really important to pay attention to the stories we tell ourselves and the stories we surround ourselves with. Not just books, TV shows, and movies, but the stories that are there in our minds. We all have narratives about who we are and what our value is, and we can absolutely change ourselves for the better by nudging those stories in different directions.
I had a college professor who, day one of class, talked about how we introduce ourselves to other people by telling them stories about our lives so far. It’s sort of how we package and present ourselves. I think it’s a good idea to look at those tales we’ve curated and see what they say about us, and also, to realize that the stories society tells us impact which narratives are worth keeping.

Question that!

 

Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: Feminism means (to me) that people can be who they are without shame or ridicule. To me, it means we all have opportunities to fulfill our goals. The idea is that we have an even playing field, and “feminine” qualities aren’t ridiculed, and men aren’t shamed for having complex feelings. I see it as equality.

So, feminism means that my daughter can play in the mud (or not, as she prefers), and my son can paint his nails. We can be the complex people that we are. I think that’s good for everyone.
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Here are links to my social media places and the Clickworks Press site for the book! All the links for purchasing the book are right here:
My Twitter:
And the Facebook site for the novel:

 

 

Megan & My Lilianas would love to hear from you! Comment below! 

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Woman Wednesday: Raquel

*Note: Woman Wednesday is a part of our blog. Each Woman Wednesday post will feature a woman who would like to share information in the hopes of inspiring and motivating other women. Comments are welcome below. 


 

Q and A with Raquel, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania

“You never really know what someone is going through despite their outward appearance or your depiction of them.”

 

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: I would say I am passionate about many issues and problems, but I am most passionate about freedom for farmed animals. I have always been a huge animal lover, and dogs have been my best friends in my life when I felt alone. I always fought hard to raise awareness for the cruel dog meat trade in Asia and never realized I was being hypocritical when it came to my diet. I became vegan once I educated myself about how these animals are abused and tormented and how selfish it is for me to decide my taste buds are worth more than an innocent being’s life. Pigs are more intelligent and just as emotional as dogs, if not more, so who am I to take their life? My passion has driven me to decide to one day have my own animal sanctuary for these innocent beings once I am successful enough in the modeling industry to support these animals.

Click here to watch a short video on the similarities between animals and people. 

 

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Pictured: Raquel modeling My Lilianas. Photography by Ollie Productions. 

 

My interests include mostly spending time with my family and dog, going on long walks, sewing, and helping others when I can.

I work as a full time model and travel, which has been amazing so far!

 

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Pictured: Raquel and her younger sisters.

 

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Pictured: Raquel modeling My Lilianas. Photography by Ollie Productions. 

 

Q:What is something valuable you’ve learned that you’d like others to know?

A: I have learned to truly not judge someone for what I think their life seems to be. You never really know what someone is going through despite their outward appearance or your depiction of them.

 

 

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Pictured: Raquel modeling My Lilianas. Photography by Ollie Productions. 

 

Q: What were your younger years like?

A: My childhood has been something that was hard at the time, but now I am so glad that I went through these things to build who I am today. My dad was never a great father figure, and he was not home most of the time. If he were, it was just miserable. I became an extremely anxious person which has stayed with me. In high school, I did not have many real friends, and it was really hard for me when it came to lunch time. I always sat alone or in a teacher’s room, because I hated being alone in the library or lunch room. It really killed me emotionally, at the time. My mom has always been there for me helping me everyday when I feel like everything is spiraling, and I am forever grateful for her impact and support in my life.

 

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Pictured: Raquel and her younger sisters.

 

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Pictured: Raquel modeling My Lilianas. Photography by Ollie Productions. 

 

Q: What would you like others to learn from your story?

A: I would like others to educate themselves and truly research how corrupt the meat and dairy industries are and how this hell is ruining the environment, their health, and torturing millions of animals each year. Animals are no lesser than humans and deserve to roam happily. I would also like people to take away that you never know what someone is going through.

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Pictured: Raquel modeling a faux blanket and My Lilianas. Photography by Ollie Productions. 

 

Check out Raquel on the My Lilianas Commercials:

 

 

 

Follow Raquel on Instagram! Click here.

 

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Woman Wednesday: Hillary

*Note: Woman Wednesday is a part of our blog. Each Woman Wednesday post will feature a woman who would like to share information in the hopes of inspiring and motivating other women. Comments are welcome below. 


Q and A with Hillary, Milford, New Jersey

What I want others to learn from my story is to simply never give up! Whatever it is you are doing or trying to achieve in life, just don’t give up. There will always be bad days and even worse days. Learn to accept it, deal with it, and ride that wave with your middle finger in the air! Because at the end of it all, you WILL have your day, your chance to shine, your happiness, your dream life.”

 

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: My main passion is helping people. I am a huge giver, and I always have been. I always put other people before myself. Growing up with the saying “Treat people how you want to be treated,” has always stuck with me. I’ve just learned to put more of an effort into helping people in the hopes of being a happy, successful woman.

As far as personal interests, I am a beach lover! I love the summer and warm weather. I enjoy: vacationing / traveling, being active, being one with nature and everything around me, cooking, baking, being a mom, simply being with my daughter, and teaching my daughter everything she needs to know about life, the world we live in, and raising her to be a strong woman.

My work includes: online marketing, digital marketing, affiliate marketing, and being an entrepreneur.

 

 

Q: How did you find this passion?

A: My childhood, as well as my depression and anxiety, has a lot to do with my passion in wanting to help others. I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety my whole life. I was never really given a hand to hold, shoulder to cry on, or that “good warm hug.” Once I started helping other people, getting the recognition and the feeling of ‘thanks’ just became an addiction. I am currently working on growing and scaling my business in order to achieve a healthy and adventurous future for my family and me. 

 

 

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Q:What is something valuable you’ve learned that you’d like others to know?

A: What I have learned that I would like others to know is to simply change your mindset. If you want something, and you want it bad, tell yourself “I want it, I’m going to get it.” And then do whatever it takes to go and get it, but with a positive mindset. It is easier said than done, but I did it. I’m doing great!

I’ve taken punches and beatings my whole life (physically, emotionally, and verbally). But when I changed my mindset and told myself “I need to start my own business so that I can better my life for my family and for myself,” things than started falling perfectly into place. The mind IS a powerful thing. I recommend others to invest in learning more about it. The mind does control us. If we can learn to control IT, then the waves will always be perfect.

A quote that I live by on a day to day basis: “Be happy with what you have instead of always wanting more.” –Robin Sherrerd, my father

And be patient! Your time will come.

 

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Q: What would you like others to learn from your story?

A: What I want others to learn from my story is to simply never give up! Whatever it is you are doing or trying to achieve in life, just don’t give up. There will always be bad days and even worse days. Learn to accept it, deal with it, and ride that wave with your middle finger in the air! Because at the end of it all, you WILL have your day, your chance to shine, your happiness, your dream life.

Anyone who is ever feeling alone, just know that it makes you that much stronger to be a loner and accomplish so much.

In reaching out to you all that struggle with mental health issues, know that it is okay to talk to strangers. I’ve been medicated my whole life. Up until two years ago, I was told that I have what is called “treatment resistant depression” and severe anxiety, along with a few others. I took a turn for the good though, and instead of turning to friends, I turned to my new friend, the internet. I joined groups on Facebook, and yet again, I had the constant POSITIVE and uplifting support from others who were in the same boat as me.

You don’t drown by falling in the water, you drown by STAYING there. So take action. There’s no success without failure either.

Just know this, there is ALWAYS someone out there waiting to hear your story, waiting to hear about your success, your goals, and your hopes and dreams. So always keep your fins up…remember, ride that wave. 🙂

 

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Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I grew up with divorced parents and a mother who was always negative. Having to live with my mother, there was nothing but negativity around me. Between always fighting with my father, arguing with my stepfather, the constant yelling, and my mother leaving us to go out to bars, I was always very sad. All I ever wanted was to live with my father, an all around happy, gentle, kind and positive person. Because we saw very little of him, and because I was surrounded by negative energy, I soon became suicidal.

I didn’t do well in school. I always put my all into absolutely everything, but unfortunately, I had learning disabilities. I needed to always be pulled out of class or be in a separate “smaller” classroom. Therefore, I was always embarrassed and worried what others thought of me. I wrote my first suicide letter to a close friend in 7th grade. She made the right decision in letting someone know, and to make a long story short, I was then diagnosed with depression and put in therapy and on medication.

Later on in life, because of my constant insecurities and doubts about life, I somehow ended up in my first serious relationship during my high school years. This unfortunately, led to rape. I did not know it was, I thought it was normal to be bullied and tortured. It was the only thing I was familiar with. 

After years of praying, attempting suicide, and being beaten, I managed to get out and away- only to be in more abusive relationships later on. So with all that, I always just wanted to escape, go away, move away, or run away. I went through beauty school in high school, and I was lucky enough to graduate early so I could go away to college. My dream finally came true when I was able to get into University of South Carolina. I could escape all the negative energy and people that I was surrounded by.

For the first time in my life, I actually experienced what we call “happiness.” I had great friends, great roommates, great teachers and supporters. I had good grades, got two side jobs to make money. I had the beach, warm weather, happy and friendly people everywhere I went. I was truly happy. However, my learning disabilities came back to haunt me, and I just couldn’t pass the placement tests for my upcoming semester without paying a fortune. I ended up breaking down and calling my father. At the time, he had told me “School is not for everyone.” With a heavy heart, I wiped my tears and picked my head up and accepted that. I worked hard to try and take over paying rent in order to stay living down there, but I ended up having to move back with my mom. 

Then I met my husband, we had our daughter, and were constantly struggling financially. Money and other issues in our relationship truly broke us. After having my daughter, I was on a mission to find a job that would allow me to stay at home with her and make a good income. I came across online marketing through Facebook. It was just something that continuously kept sparking my interest, no matter how many times I would turn away from it. I joined groups on Facebook, and soon enough, I became a part of an amazing community.

The constant POSITIVE and UPLIFTING support I keep getting is what keeps me going. I didn’t lose faith. It is something that I feel is now a part of me. 

I was quite lost for a few years, but I simply never gave up. My past has now led me to being a very successful mom entrepreneur of an online marketing business . Slowly, I am taking action in getting my family and myself to where we truly belong.

Q: What does feminism mean to you?

A: Feminism to me is being the strong women we were meant to me. Whether in a perfectly healthy relationship or not, or no relationship at all, it to me, means truly standing up for yourself. Be strong. Don’t worry about other peoples’ negative thoughts or sayings.

We are strong. Our strength runs so deep. We are our own warriors.

 

 

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