Your sickness isn’t a punishment.

August 16th, 2019

I had the pleasure of speaking with a friend about our recent run in with health issues. We discussed how disappointed we are with ourselves that our health has gotten completely out of control.

As she was discussing her disappointment, something snapped inside of me. I view my autoimmune disease as an awakening. My body is telling me there is neglect somewhere and now is the time to listen. I also see this as something that didn’t happen over night but years of neglect.

We have all had run-ins with weight loss or health goals that we often start and stop. We are so strict and hard on ourselves in the beginning  and this is obviously not working for any of us. By striving for perfection we set ourselves up for failure.

At this point, I say F*CK THIS! I am making my health my full time job. Mental, spiritual and of course physical. I will not see a slip up as a failure but instead there is a lesson to be learned. I had to get completely fed up with where my health is to get to a point of understanding.

We all talk about “self help” and “self care” so often but how much are we actually doing for ourselves. How often do we beat ourselves up because our avocado toast isn’t Instagram worthy or we had ice cream for dinner? We need to stop punishing ourselves within our journeys, making our action meaningful. I am realizing within myself that these moments aren’t failures. Part of self care is actually treating yourself once in a while but it’s also not being upset with yourself because you had something deemed as “bad” within your day.

I want to spend my  time focusing on what I am missing and what future me can benefit from. It is about shifting my way of thinking and doing what is right in the moment,  and with purpose. The health issues I am currently facing didn’t happen overnight and neither will the evolution of who I am becoming. Lifestyle change isn’t perfect but it serves a purpose. 

Do you beat yourself up over small mistakes in your lifestyle journey? How do you overcome your personal challenges with self doubt talk?

Let me explain.

August 8th, 2019

Why hello there! Super long time, no see.

Things have been wonderful, trying, and evolving to say the least. I don’t want this post to be extremely long and boring. There will be plenty more blog posts to catch you guys up on everything. I’ve had a lot of growing pains within the last year and I want to share the most recent events to give you a general idea of what has been going on lately.

I have had a uphill battle with my autoimmune disease, Leukocytoclastic Vasculitis (also known as Hypersensitivity Vasculitis). This form of vasculitis is  a disease characterized by inflammation of small vessels. This disease typically manifests on the legs in the form of a rash/bumps which can turn into large skin ulcers or lesions. If you think it sounds painful and gross, you’re completely correct. I’ve been dealing with the symptoms of this disease for years now and thought it was something I could resolve on my own by changing up my lifestyle.

Some of these changes seem to work for a short amount of time. I’ve tried Whole 30 (which by the way I loved and should really do again), Paleo, Keto, Gluten Free, you name it, I thought it was going to be the cure for this disease and have me glowin’ like Beyonce.

About two months ago, I started one of the worse flares I have ever experienced. Something about this flare set off red flags and I knew I was in for something major. Typically, standing and sitting  for extended periods of time would trigger a flare. Which sucks for a girl that is use to going to 3 concerts a week and dancing the night away. The first sign of a bump/hive on my legs, I would take Benadryl before bed and sleep it off. Usually it would clear up by morning and I could go about my life. But not this flare, this was something different.

I tried my typical ‘drug myself with night time pain relief and allergy meds’ method but the pain from the hives on my legs literally wouldn’t allow me to rest. After about 2 sleepless nights, I began to panic. How was I going to be well rested enough to get up and work? How was I going to heal from the flare? Are my symptoms getting worse?

Days became weeks with no relief. I turned to the Facebook vasculitis groups for answers or for anyone that could relate. Everyone showed empathy and sympathy but I didn’t really find any answers to resolve my current flare. I had no choice but to start calling out of work to rest since I was missing so much sleep due to the amount of pain I was in. Usually my flares would take place on my lower legs, but this flare was on the back of my thighs. Which is literally the worse place it could have happened. I was unable to lay or sit without feeling like I was sitting on knives. I didn’t know what to do or what doctor to contact but I knew this had to be the last time I ever felt this way.

A common theme that emerges among people living with an autoimmune disease is the feeling of being alone with their illness. I felt very trapped in this rollercoaster of “eh, I feel okay today” and then the next day feeling like I wanted to just get my legs removed. I started going to every doctor I could think of and was prescribed medication for depression and given pain killers. Nothing made sense and I felt like no one was able to help me.

Finally, about a month ago I saw a nurse practitioner who I am pretty sure saved my life. The wounds on the back of my thighs had an infection and needed to be cleaned surgically. They were also so deep at this point, that I needed to get a skin graft (I actually received a xenograft which is a skin graft where donor skin is used).  I was hospitalized for a week and a half and let me tell you how grateful I was for this. I finally felt like I was being heard, plus my pain was managed enough where I was able to rest. The gratitude I have for the doctors and nurses that treated me is out of this world.

I have been out of the hospital now for 2 weeks and still in recovery.  I have a in home nurse come to dress my grafts twice a week and I go to the wound clinic at the hospital once a week. I have some pretty fantastic zombie skin grafts that are looking healthy and healing. My stride is becoming less of a waddle and more of a walk. This blog post is my introduction back into the bloggersphere because this something I need right now.  It’s something I missed and I have been neglecting my passions.

One of the most common questions I am asked is, “How did the flare happen and why was it so bad?!” The simple answer is stress but the slightly longer answer is forgetting to live my purpose. It’s so easy to become a person that says “someday” or “I want to” and put YOU on the back burner. I’m done with that.  With the help of a new medication, an amazing support system, and a whole bunch of much needed self love, I am pretty sure I am jumpstarting a new bad ass chapter of my life.

Thank you to all of you that visited me in the hospital, sent me messages, left me comments and sent positive and healing energy my way. Your beautiful energy is more than I could ever asked for and is majorly appreciated.

XO, a go go bye!

 

Thanks but no thanks.

January 4th, 2018

Hey there beautiful space creatures!

It’s a new year and 2017 in a lot of ways felt like the hangover of 2016. I think universally, we all feel that 2018 should be a superb year. A new year calls for fresh starts and getting rid of what no longer serves. As hard as this can be, this also includes people.

I recently had an overwhelming response to getting back into blogging. The majority of the people that have reached out to me have been positive. But as it goes, with the good sometimes comes the bad. I have received the occasional unsolicited advice or comment here and there. In the past, I would just rolled my eyes and took the advice or combat it with some witty words. But why should I? Why have I been wasting valuable energy on battles that wouldn’t be worth it in the long run? It’s 2018 and the time is now to stop the bullshit!

I am done with people that undermine or question my reality only to make me doubt myself. With those “friends” that often show their insecurities by telling you what you need to change or should be doing. These same people tend to find faults in your life and remember details of what you have going on to use against you in the future. All of this while saying “I am saying this as a friend” or “Not to be a bitch but…”.

I am over empty suggestions that I never asked for. Don’t get me wrong, some people make suggestions that are brilliant. I am always extremely grateful for some random good advice. But there is always that person,that has something to say about your ever move. That person that feels that everything that comes out of their mouth has a warning label. If you feel like everything you say comes with a disclaimer, more than likely you’re an asshole. It’s cool boo, just own it and realize that not all people can handle your “sass”. To these people, we can politely say “go fuck yourself!”

Someday we will grow old and reflect on our lives and we aren’t going to think fondly about those that doubted us. We aren’t going to think back to “Man, it was really great when that person told me how fat they thought I was.” or “WOW! I should have listened to that person’s suggestions on how I should be presenting myself”. Give no fucks right now and mean it.

Namaste bitches! Let’s make 2018 the year of YOU!

I’m back and I wasn’t abducted by aliens!

December 30th, 2017

Why hello there, stranger! I’m back!

It’s been well over a year but I have returned! So I obviously need blogging 101 because I broke the first rule and just completely stopped. I’m sure some of you are like “Where the hell have you been and why did you stop blogging?!” I am going to keep it completely 100% with you guys and not give you some Dog Ate My Blog excuses. Life got tough and I basically hid from the world. I will do my best to spare you of the gruesome details but what had happened was…

For starts, over the last 3-4 years, I had a mystery health condition that was officially diagnosed last year as an autoimmune disease known as Leukocytoclastic Vasculitis. The symptoms to this disease started years ago but peaked hardcore in 2016. This disease for the most part left me without any confidence or motivation. It has definitely kept life interesting and I see it more as an awakening. While most autoimmune issues are still a mystery and “not curable” I find this to be complete bullshit. Most health problems are a product of the lives we lead and is just a matter of us listening to our bodies. My body was basically like  “Hey, you’re fucking up!” and i’m pretty grateful. While I still have a long road ahead of me, I am doing a TON better and on the mend.

During all of this medical mayhem, I took on a full time remote job in which I am still currently working. While I love what I do, I got WAY to comfortable and decided to put my dreams and personal goals on the back burner. It will always be easier to say “someday I will take over the world.”, but at some point you have to realize your intentions lack that action required for world domination. Over the last year, i’ve been brainstorming and coming up with a number of new and fun ideas, but with no action. If I am not going to treat my dreams with the respect they deserve, no one else will. Trust me when I say that this blog post you’re reading has come with a lot of blood, sweat and glittery tears. This is the first of many steps back into giving myself a chance.

Outside of the full time day job, health malfunctions, and self loathing I also found myself using this space to share content I just didn’t find fully exciting. Between managing social media for other projects and working on things that had little to do with what I was passionate in. I completely lost my vision. I got to a point where I thought no one would care about what I was putting out, there because I didn’t. I started to compare myself to others and think I would never be good enough nor would I ever “make it”. Well it took a year for me to wake the fuck up, and a lot has changed. I think getting space cooties helped me develop a layer of confidence I never thought to be possible. I’ve been on some next level Yoda-like positivity.

The majority of my healing will consist of me reconnecting with what I love. The moment you decide to focus on yourself and what you enjoy is the moment that you honor yourself. I forgot in the mix of doctor appointments and sleepless nights that I am so valuable. I never was one to care about what others think but as soon as you let down that protective self-love bubble the negative pours in. I am better than that. It feels so so good to be back in this space.

Why did I come back now? I simply needed to come out of hiding. I needed to be honest with where I have been. I needed to share my story without sugarcoating it—to express my discomfort and lack of confidence.

This is my post. My awakening.

I am writing this to get out of the habit of making things a bigger deal than they actually are. I am writing this to get the hell out of my own way. I accept my beautiful crazy and sometimes messy life. No one asked me to be perfect nor does anyone expect it and if they do, they can go fuck themselves.

This post is for me. This post is for you. I am here to invite you back into this beautiful community and into my life journey. Sometimes our best lives include rambling blog posts full of cliches and releasing them into the world because clicking “published” is better than perfect.

I am fucking back, y’all!

Stay sexy Gotham!

Fan on, fan pretty.

July 9th, 2015

sprinkles and booze sit pretty fan

While typing this post I tried to say “folding hand fan” three times in a row and realized it’s impossible. Can you do it or am I just broken?

Aside from a fun tongue twister, folding hand fans make an elegant, chic, bold statement as a summertime accessory. I recommend that party girls everywhere listen up and take note – we’re about to kick it old school!

Folding fans have been used throughout history. Did you know that these cool devices have been around since at least 4th century BC? They were used in ancient Greece, but people then called them “rhipis”. Ceremonial hand fans were used to keep bugs off of bread and wine in church during the 6th century. In Spain, flamenco dancers used them to accentuate their artistic dancing while looking insanely fabulous. Most cultures and most art forms have taken the simplicity of a hand fan and turned it into something beautiful yet useful.

Throughout the years, hand fans have been used for fashion and practicality. Modern folding fans take the original idea and give them a bright new twist. Bright colors, sexy patterns, and a bunch of options make folding hand fans an obvious choice for a summertime accessory. I became obsessed with folding fans after a burlesque routine I performed for a local magazine party with some of my burlesque babes at Work It Dance and Fitness.

Because I believe in the power of the hand fan (also because I am sick of people side eyeing me for using one on the subway) here are my top 3 reasons why using a hand fan is kick-ass:

Be ever so thrifty. Stocking up on cute fans won’t break the bank. There are tons of places where you can buy a lot of them in assorted colors. Also Etsy has a ton of beautiful hand made options. Go crazy, go nuts! .

❤ Handy dandy.  If you’re on the subway and the power goes out you might feel pretty lucky that you’ve packed your most useful accessory. Stay cool AND pretty while everyone else swelters. You could even become a superhero and help others stay cool. Be the change you wish to see in the summer!

❤ Never out of style. I personally think that people stare when I use a hand fan because even though they’ve been around for ages, they aren’t the norm in North America. For the most part I’ve had strangers tell me how smart I was to have brought one or how beautiful my fans are. Pick a color or pattern to compliment your ensemble or just go with a fan that you’re “feeling” that day. I tend to just grab whatever tickles my fancy. 

This post is simply a shout out to an accessory that has held it’s own for centuries. It is definitely something that should should be celebrated and I am happy to have introduced them into my norm. Stay cool, stay pretty and always….

Stay sexy Gotham!
latanya
Digital Art by David Van Allen.