You always seemed to follow me, no matter where I went. You were like a stray, looking for a home.

After much resistance, I finally decided to let you in.

We spent a lot of time together. I kept you company. I sheltered you. I fed you.

We became so close. We became inseparable. I was obsessed. I found my identity in you. I loved you.

You always share intimate stories with me. I was intrigued. They made me think.

And think. And think.

All I could do was think.

You asked me if you could have some friends over.

Without hesitation, I let them in.

They stayed longer than I anticipated, but I avoided the confrontation.

That was the day that I lost my backbone.

The space was smaller than ever. I was suffocating.

The nightly parties became tiring, but I held in there because I didn’t want to ruin your fun.

The more that I gave you, the more you wanted.

The attachment that we had became so unhealthy. I remember when I made a new friend. You were so jealous.

Every time I tried to distance myself, you kept pulling me back in. You convinced me that I didn’t need anyone or anything else.

You convinced me that everyone else saw me through a dirty glass.

I started to believe you. I let it happen.

I cut off my new friend.

Every time my new friend reached out to me, I rejected the communication.

You were my drug. I couldn’t quit you. You molded me. You changed the way I functioned. You changed the way that I saw myself. You isolated me.

You convinced me that everything was okay.

I believed you.

Your grip on me became tighter than ever.

I was in grave condition. I felt like my life was slipping away.

Out of fear, I reached out to a familiar stranger. I had nowhere to go, but up.

The walls that were once closing in began to crack. I felt like I was able to catch my breath.

I found enough strength to finally put my foot down.

This was the day that I found my backbone.

Your grip around my neck was slowly slipping away.

You gave me an ultimatum.

For the first time in my life, I felt like I made the right decision.

I packed your things & tossed them out. I no longer wished to be burdened by your baggage.

That was the day that I had to let you go.

I loved you. I trusted you. I almost gave you my life. Yet, you still kept sucking me dry.

I was no longer your host.

You could no longer control me.

I could no longer try to change you.

I was done believing your lies. I was no longer bound by your manipulation. I no longer behaved under the spell of your intimidation. I no longer accepted your abuse.

The walls started separating from the foundation. The house came crashing down.

I lost everything that man could make.

Amongst the wreckage, I found something priceless. I found something that could renew me.

I found my new love.

My peace.

Lifestyle Parenting

My oldest daughters launched their business, ScentSc8pe! They sell a variety of homemade bath & body products.

I had been thinking of the concept of this business for about six months.

Originally, I was going to take on ScentSc8pe, but with the condition of my current business, Glamsc8pe, I knew that was a tall order. After several months, I decided to approach my girls with the business. Why not?! I saw this as a great teaching moment. I thought they would have fun while learning the basics of business.

The girls were very excited to start this venture. It was not only a chance for them to learn business techniques, but it was also a great opportunity to work on their relationship. They are in two different age groups, but I think that the sisterly bond is extremely important.

I like to use everything as a teachable moment. Having fun is great, but parenting during the storms is the most important test.

ScentSc8pe By Ariana & Amariyah was born on January 1st, 2021.

It has really been a fulfilling experience. Besides strengthening their bond, Ariana & Amariyah have used this time to really showcase their many talents.

Amariyah has a very creative nature. She is most definitely an actress. Sometimes that’s a great thing, and other times, not so much.

Ariana has a knack for learning. Like myself, she is a visual learner, and is open to learning new things. Sometimes she let’s her stubbornness get in the way.

Well, they both do. This produces another teachable moment: working through differences.

Boy, do they have differences. At the end of the day, they love each other. Even through some challenges in their relationship, they have been able to weather storms. Situations that were meant to destroy their relationship have actually strengthened it.

You may think that I sound silly, but sibling rivalry is a real thing, and it can last into adulthood. Satan is a crafty asshole, and he is definitely in the business of sowing seeds of division.

God is a fierce protector, however.

I’m proud of Ariana & Amariyah. Please support my girls by shopping their website:

Thank you & God bless

Lifestyle Parenting

The Sweetest Embrace….

This is one of those stories that I struggled to share. Actually, this is one of maybe ten stories that I struggled to share. Before I went public with my blog, I thought that this “open book” thing was going to be easy.


I started struggling with my weight when I was in high school. Between being sick and going through puberty, I became disgusted by my body. My hips started spreading, and I had the slightest pudge in my stomach. I hated looking in the mirror. I often wore my middle school wardrobe as motivation for the weight that I wanted to be.

I remember the morning that I was discharged from a hospital stay when I was in the 9th grade. I put my size 11 jeans on. When I stood up, my pants feel to my feet. I thought that I had forgotten to button them. When I pulled my pants back up, I noticed how wide they were in the waist.

I was shocked and excited. I lost weight! Due to the various tests and procedures that I had undergone, I was placed on a strict diet. I just didn’t notice that this diet would have a big impact on my body. I was able to fit my older sister’s size 7 jeans! My clothes from middle school fit like a glove.

Literally…. My breasts were developing, so those shirts were tight in the chest area.

Once I was allowed to return to a normal diet, the pounds came creeping back. In no time, I was back in my size 11 jeans. It was so frustrating!

I started my first homemade “diet” when I was in 11th grade. I ate one Granny Smith apple a day, drank a lot of water, and had 1 hour of exercise a day.

I dropped 30 pounds in a month.

I started wearing my middle school clothes to school again. I knew my shirts were too short, but they clung to me and showed my flat tummy. I just knew I was cute.

I nearly fainted at school a week later. My father was understandably pissed off that he had to come pick me up. He was working second shift, and sleeping during the day. My mother was working first shift and had a lengthy commute from home.

I confessed to my father that I hadn’t been eating. I had never let my parents know about my issues with my body. He yelled at me for a good portion of the ride home:

“You know damn well you’re supposed to eat!”

I felt like I couldn’t talk to my parents about this issue. It was something that haunted me for years. I decided to just let them think I was acting stupid.

I started eating a regular diet and wearing my normal fitting clothes again. It was time for me to accept the fact that I wasn’t going to fulfill my dreams of wearing crop tops and low-rise jeans.

I gained about 60 pounds when I was pregnant with Ariana. It didn’t bother me much because I was able to use pregnancy as an excuse. I had to gain weight for the baby, right? Most of that extra weight went to my breasts, stomach, and face.

After I had Ariana, I began to lose the weight. I credit postpartum depression for that. I remember admiring my flattening stomach while I was in the psychiatric hospital.

After several months, I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight. I was impressed by my ability to be able to keep my weight in check for years. I actually started to accept my curves. The guys loved the curves.

I always craved that attention from guys. I was always jealous of my older sister for getting it. I didn’t know that I was seeking to wrong type of attention. I loved it though. My self-esteem was higher than ever.

Maybe I was never fat to begin with!

I started gaining weight again when Ariana was three. At that time, I was in my first marriage, and I had stopped putting so much into my appearance. I was never into appearances. It just didn’t matter to me. I thought that my husband wouldn’t care because he loved me.


Another damn expectation placed on the woman.

When I was pregnant with Amariyah, the weight started piling on.

My thighs had never rubbed together before. For the first time in my life, the first number on the scale read “2”. I was gutted. I never thought that I would see the day.

After I had Avery, I completely let myself go. I didn’t even want to know what I looked like. I avoided the mirror as much as I could. I didn’t even do my hair in front of a mirror.

I was forced to confront my appearance after seeing a picture of myself from Avery’s first birthday party. It was a very humbling experience. Everyone feels like they look good until that picture is taken.

I’m not talking about a deceptive selfie…..

I reconnected with a grade school classmate on Facebook. It turns out that she had become a nutrition coach. After catching up for a few minutes, she introduced me to the Medifast diet. She gave me her testimony on how it worked for her. I was intrigued.

It was expensive, but I was desperate. My then-husband and I were having trouble paying our bills, but I could tell that he was excited at the idea of me losing weight. At a time when my marriage was quickly deteriorating, I thought that it was the least that I could do to salvage what was left.

The food was nasty. I had to eat five meal replacements a day, plus cook a healthy dinner. I added exercise into my regimen after a month. I was impressed by how fast the pounds were falling off.

I had one cheat day. A friend blessed me with a lunch date at Red Lobster. That endless shrimp was heavenly! Don’t get me started on the Dr. Pepper!

I stepped on the scale a couple of days later. I had gained three pounds. I could tell that my husband was annoyed. I was understanding. We were shelling out a lot of money for me to do this, and I slipped up.

After six months, I lost a total of 70 pounds. I felt fantastic! I graduated from my husband’s clothes to some new, cute clothes that I treated myself with. My husband even acted like he was attracted to me again. That didn’t go unnoticed. As bad as it sounds, I was loving the outside attention that I was getting as well.

After I separated from my then-husband, I gave up the diet. It was more important than ever to solely focus on providing for my babies.

I never entered the official maintenance portion of the diet, but I was able to keep my weight under control with small food portions.

When I started dating Donnie, he knew that I had been struggling with my image. Being the sweetheart that he is, he told me that I didn’t need to diet.

That was easy for him to say. He never saw me at my heaviest weight.

We had both actually just experienced a drastic weight loss. When Donnie and I found out that we were going to have a baby, the weight started creeping back. I craved cantaloupe and Dr. Pepper all of the time.

After I miscarried, I started relying on bad eating habits again. After a a couple of months, I was pregnant with Julian. Again, I put on a lot of weight. Again, I didn’t let it bother me because I needed to put on weight for the baby.

After I gave birth to the twins, I was at the highest weight of my life. Once again, I was forced to confront my appearance.

I took extra pride in doing my hair. My hair is something that I could always count on. Even when my hair was going through different phases of damage(illness related), cuts, and styles, it never let me down. I never had a problem growing my hair. I told myself that as long as my hair was done, the rest of my appearance didn’t matter.

It was nice to have the reassurance of my husband, Donnie, though. He has never made me feel like I am unattractive. He has always loved me. Knowing this made me take some pressure off of myself.

Maybe I don’t need to keep a certain appearance to please a man! The right man! The man who loves me unconditionally!

Sure, people got their fat jokes off at my expense. Good for them. For the first time in my life, I didn’t care because my husband loved every inch of me. My husband helped me love myself. I know that I’m not perfect, but I’m me. What can be better than that?! Certainly I’m not being miserable and cracking jokes on someone else.

Still, I knew I needed to lose weight for health reasons.

I also wanted to look better for me. Why wasn’t I blessed with good genes?! I have seen larger women with great figures:

Titties? Sitting. Ass? Poked. Frame? Hour glass.

Me? The opposite…..

Google told me that I was shaped like a damn apple….

My parents tried to blame my child-rearing for the weight. I mean, food is also good… When I’m depressed, I have an unhealthy relationship with food.

I started a Keto diet when the twins were two years old. I was impressed with the quick weight loss. Unfortunately, my weight loss stalled after losing 25 pounds.

Next, I tried the Atkins diet. It seemed similar to the Keto diet. It was a cute diet, but my weight loss was not cute. I gave up on that quickly. I tried a few more weight loss applications. They just didn’t do the job for me.

I was skeptical about Weight Watchers. This is the oldest diet that I had heard of. I was hesitant because I had to open my purse again. This time, the damage was far less.

I started the program in January of this year. I was actually impressed. You just track and eat in within your point allotment. You don’t have to worry about keeping track of carbs and fat and micros and macros… You know, those pesky numbers that indicate that you are overdoing it….

I think that my favorite part was the lack of food restrictions. I could literally eat what I wanted. The downside was that the portions were extremely small, compared to what I normally would eat. Sometimes I would find myself craving a 17-point Big Mac with only 2 points left.

Huge sigh!

I started losing weight at a normal pace, and I was happy with my results. I was no longer obsessing with the scale. I was obsessing over how amazing my new clothes fit.

One thing that I learned about myself from doing Weight Watchers is that I need to stop putting expectations on myself. I will probably never be tiny again, and that’s okay with me.

Part of the reason why I was failing at these diets is because I only had my eyes on the end result. I didn’t celebrate the small victories. I was only focused on being skinny instead of making realistic goals.

My goal is to be healthy and happy. Salads may make me healthy, but they don’t always make me happy. Oreos may not be healthy, but I will be happy eating them. Thanks WW!

It’s all a work in progress, and I’m still working. I’m not where I want to be, but I’m not at my highest weight anymore. Success!

Unfortunately, I’m human. I fell off of my program during my most recent confrontation with depression. I am currently taking things one day at a time until I am fully able to recommit

I want this story to promote happiness and acceptance.

I want to let you know that you don’t have to fit into a box that was designated by man. Break the norms. Fat doesn’t have to equal unhealthy or unattractive, and skinny doesn’t have to equal sexy or desirable.

Stand confident in you. Love you! You weren’t put on this earth to make people accept you.

Thank you for your support, and feel free leave feedback!

Also, don’t forget to check out my other website for some affordable jewelry:

Lifestyle Parenting

The Pros And Cons Of Early Preparation

I am an early preparer because I have a large family. I’m talking about packing for a July vacation in May. I’m talking about Christmas shopping in August. My paranoia tells me to “get it done while you have the money” or “pack now because you will have a lower chance of forgetting something”. It has worked out beautifully until now….

COVID-19 turned most people’s lives upside down in March of this year. I discovered on the news that surrounding counties were closing down schools for the last two weeks of March. As soon as I got the call from the district office, I knew. I knew my kids were going to drive me crazy. I delayed the delivery of the news until Donnie came home from work.

The celebrations commenced after I told my kids what the deal was. These kids literally turned on a movie and asked me to make popcorn. I think Amariyah is the only one who genuinely likes schools. Still, she was happy. We all thought it would just be a short break.

FYI, I was not the one who stockpiled tissue, bread and milk during this time.

It was April, and the kids were still out of school. I decided to finish up my school shopping for the next school term. I actually started shopping in November of 2019. I had all of their essentials purchased by February. I always size up because children grow overnight. It just makes sense.

May arrives and the kids are still out of school. The Governor cancels school for the rest of the school term. Again, my kids were delighted. I wasn’t, as I was struggling to help them finish their 500 remote learning packets. I decided to use the old-fashioned pencil and paper because it was the easiest way for me to keep track of progress and make remarks.

What did your kids do during your state’s Stay-At-Home order? My kids ate. They ate and they ate. It wasn’t until late June that I remembered the fortune that I had spent on school clothes. My kids had gotten taller and wider. Despite my genius attempts to size up, I had to face the reality that the clothes probably would fit anymore.

I was correct about some of the clothes. Now I have a big donation box sitting in my room. I was given the option to homeschool my kids for the upcoming school year. In an effort to keep my children safe, I agreed to keep my kids in virtual school. While I get to bless some other children with new clothes and shoes, I don’t have to worry about purchasing anymore school clothes.

I will not let this unfortunate circumstance deter me in the future. I still say that my method works. On to Christmas shopping next month!

If you are interested in jewelry, I sell paparazzi jewelry through my business, “Antonia’s Glamsc8pe”. Feed your $5.00 habit at my online store:


My Return To My 100% Natural Hair…..

I say “return” because my hair was natural at one point. Everyone’s hair was or still is….

My mother relaxed my hair for the first time when I was 12. I remember my parents arguing about the issue. My father was against relaxers, but my mother just wanted our hair to be more manageable. I didn’t complain. I hated getting my hair done for hours. I hated the feeling of combs breaking against my scalp because the teeth were caught on a knot. I also longed to shake my hair “like the white girls”. I didn’t know much about my hair texture when I was a child…..

I was excited to get that relaxer. I could show off the true length of my hair, and tuck it behind my ears without resistance.

My first relaxed hairstyle was a roller set. I was pissed off. I wanted straight, flowing, hair. I was pissed off at my mom. I combed my curls out and my hair was frizzy. Now it was my mom’s turn to be pissed.

I started putting in my own relaxers when I turned 18. I put one in every couple of months. I was able to straighten my hair the way I wanted to. That way left me with creases in my hair….

By the time I was 21, I started experimenting with shorter haircuts. I knew that my hair would grow back. I eventually cut back relaxers to once a year. I really missed the volume in my hair. I naturally have thick hair, but with the relaxer, my hair is much thinner and very fragile.

In 2018, I did it. I did the big chop. I had 12 inches of my hair cut off. I was inspired to make this decision after consulting a friend and watch several YouTube videos. I had also just done a chop on Ariana’s hair because she wanted her natural curls back. I didn’t want her to feel alone. I washed my hair and put my husband up to the task of cutting it.

My first impression of my new style was regret. What was I going to do with it? My hair was coiled in the back, but loose and wavy in the front. I figured that Donnie had left some relaxed hair in the front of my head, so I cut another inch. Nope, my natural hair in the front was just loose and wavy.

The positive thing about my natural hair was that I was able to twist my hair in some cute styles. The negative thing was that I shed a lot of hair. I was shedding more hair than I was when I had a relaxer.

I was doing weekly washes and twists. I never put heat in my hair, except when I deep conditioned. It was the same cycle: wash, deep condition, regular condition, detangle, trim, oil, leave-in conditioner, custard, twist. Pairing the products perfectly was rough.

I was burned out after awhile. I had four heads of hair to do in total. Two of those four heads has 4c type hair. I’m not good with doing 4c hair. Having multiple children means that you have to study multiple hair types. This was not for me. I needed to get all of this hair done quickly. With so many kids, I didn’t have the time or patience for my hair.

After a year and a half of completely natural hair, I slapped a relaxer in my hair. There was something about blow drying my hair and then being able to just slap it in a bun. The only thing that I regret is that my hair doesn’t hold moisture as easily as it did when it was natural.

It’s been a year since my relaxer. I think I might hold out a little longer.

I’m not opposed to my natural hair state. I wouldn’t mind trying it again. I just don’t have a lot of time to devote to my hair like I use to. One day I might go back. For now, the once a year relaxer works for me. I get just enough of the benefit of manageability.

If you are interested in jewelry, I sell paparazzi jewelry through my business, “Antonia’s Glamsc8pe”. Feed your $5.00 habit at my online store:

Lifestyle Uncategorized

I’m Not Working For Love….And Neither Should You!!!

In my opinion, love is a natural emotion that can develop immediately or over a period of time. It cannot be bought or worked for.

God loves us all. He gives the purest form of love. He loves us no matter who we are, what we do, or where we’ve been. We can’t buy God’s love, favor, or grace.

So, why are you buying or working for love from your significant other? Why are you earning “love” based on favors or purchases? That’s not love. Love is not material. You are buying satisfaction. The truth is, that person will never truly be satisfied.

Sure, your significant other will love the home cooked meals, foot rubs, sex, & massages for about five minutes. Unfortunately, you will have to eventually come up with other ideas to keep that person “satisfied”. As long as you are doing the catering, your significant other will keep doing the stringing. Your significant other will want the pleasure of being catered to while being able to do whatever he or she wants. It’s a win-win situation for them, not you.

Don’t get it twisted. There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with giving gifts or doing favors, as long as they are not in exchange for love or commitment.

You’re terrified and insecure. You’re terrified that if you don’t keep up with the charades, your significant other will entertain someone else. That’s insecurity. If he or she wants to cheat, they will cheat. There is NOTHING you can do to stop it. It is NOT your fault either.

Stop with the mentality that “If I don’t do it, someone else will.”. You are not your significant other’s parent. That person has been raised. You already have doubts about your relationship if you are worried about someone “wrecking” your home.

*Newsflash!!!!! No one “wrecked” your home. That was an inside job, my dear. Your satisfied significant other allowed access, and that person took full advantage.*

When someone is heartbroken over another person, the first thing they most likely said was, “After all I did for you!”…..Think about it. Favors & objects are temporary. True love is timeless & priceless.

Your worth is priceless. If you are telling yourself that “I need to have my hair done everyday for my baby.” or “I need to have dinner on the table for baby every night at 5.”, you are automatically telling yourself that you alone are not good enough

Your soulmate is someone who loves you for who you are, and NOT for what you can bring to the table. The truth is, everyone has something to offer(sex, money, gifts, etc.), but who are you as a person? Who is your significant other as a person?

I have been with my husband for six years. I love Donnie because he is a genuinely good person. I love how he loves our children. I love his selflessness and dedication. I love that he puts no expectations on me. He just loves me. I don’t just hear it. I feel it.

I don’t know why he loves me. I can’t answer for him. I can tell you right now that I don’t have dinner on the table every night when he comes home. My hair is standing up on my head more than 50% of the time. I shave my leg hair maybe once a year. I’m a stay-at-home parent of almost 6 years who had no earned income(I recently started working again). Donnie met me at a size 14. I’m not there anymore(I’m working on that for me). He knows the most painful and shady parts of my past.

Donnie has never made me feel like an obligation. He has never made me feel unloved. Our relationship foundation is strong.

I’m never going to work to keep his love. He knows that he never has to work to keep my love.

You deserve commitment. Continue to acknowledge that the love that you deserve is priceless. You should never have to work for it. You are not a slave to your significant other.

If you are interested in jewelry, I sell paparazzi jewelry through my business, “Antonia’s Glamsc8pe”. Feed your $5.00 habit at my online store:


Protect Your Energy!

This is very important! Don’t sacrifice your well-being or mental health for anyone. I don’t care who they are. Negativity is very contagious, and it is designed to destroy your life.

It’s okay to forgive someone, but you don’t have to interact with that person again. Don’t be a fool in someone else’s game. There are people who will take advantage of your kindness and use it as a weakness. There are people who will continue to practice hurtful behaviors towards you because you are forgiving. There is nothing wrong with forgiveness because it brings peace. However, if you allow this person to keep taking up space in your life, you will continue to get hurt.

Speaking of peace, don’t be someone else’s puppet. If you feel wronged by someone, don’t allow the negative words or actions to live rent-free in your mind. Be angry, but don’t let that anger cloud your judgement. Be sad, but don’t let that sadness keep you up at night. Think about it, but don’t let your thoughts convince you that you are to blame for someone else’s behavior. Don’t let someone else’s negativity take away your peace and control you.

Take responsibility. This is a big one. Just like others can exude negative energy, you can also. Take responsibility for your actions. Taking responsibility when you are at fault will trigger growth and maturity. It’s easy to constantly live in victim hood because it protects us from having to see ourselves.

Every action doesn’t require a reaction. You don’t have to stoop to a lower level to get even. The one thing that a bully hates is a strong-willed person. Bullies hate when they can’t control your emotions.

Adversity is apart of life. You don’t have to be defeated by adverse circumstances. I know this sounds cliche, but “Trouble don’t last always”. How you handle adversity with determine how you get through it. It’s all about your attitude.

Take a break from social media. You don’t always have to be on an app. There is so much toxicity on all of those platforms. A lot of people use social media to play a character. It’s an outlet that allows them to be as disgusting as they want without consequences. Stop taking memes to heart. You know the memes that I’m talking about. I’m talking about the memes that start off with “Only real men…”, “Only real women…”, “A real wife…”, or even “A real mother…”. Those memes don’t dictate who you are or if you are doing life correctly. People who incessantly post or repost those types of memes are insecure. They are looking to validate themselves. You live your life by your own standards.

Everyone who seems nice doesn’t need to be in your life. Sometimes that means distancing yourself from friends. Everyone who is your family doesn’t need to be in your life. Sometimes that means loving from afar. We seem to take on the most relationships when we are vulnerable. This is also when we tend to give out the most ammunition against ourselves. Trust your God-given instinct whenever it speaks to you. You don’t have to be mean, but you need to protect your energy by keeping certain people at length. Have you ever struck up a great conversation with someone, but the next time you saw that person, they acted like they didn’t know who you are? Have you ever met someone who always had a stank attitude with you for no reason? Don’t try to be a psychologist. Move on, and protect your energy.

If you are interested in jewelry, I sell paparazzi jewelry through my business, “Antonia’s Glamsc8pe”. Feed your $5.00 habit at my online store:


Quitting Made Me Happy(This Time)

Many of my fellow upper classmates were putting in their college applications during the 2005-2006 school year. I was not optimistic about college at all. I was ready to get the ABSOLUTE hell out of high school. I didn’t even know if I was going to graduate at that time.

I remember firing up my mother’s dial-up internet so that I could submit an application to George Mason University. Filling out that application made my self-esteem rise a little bit. After I filled out my application, I asked my father to front me some money so that I could submit my application. My father was reluctant to pay that NON-REFUNDABLE, $40 fee for my college application, but he did it. 

As my father entered his credentials on the keyboard, I just knew that he was having flashbacks of all of the D’s on my latest report card. My father is very blunt and more realistic than optimistic. I was a lazy student who did just enough to get by. He might have not believed that I would get into George Mason, but it meant the world to me that he was willing to waste his money. 

Yep, he wasted his money. I knew that thin ass envelope was a rejection letter before I even opened it. I decided to just focus on trying to graduate and then I would get a job. 

I was able to play catch-up in most of my classes. I knew I needed grace from God Almighty to pass Physics. Do you know why I elected to take Physics? It sounded like a class that would make me seem intelligent if I had it on my transcript. I didn’t know that this class would be a hybrid between science and math. My worst subjects in one existed package.

I was several points shy of passing that class for graduation. I needed an A on my final assignment. Where was this A going to come from? It certainly wasn’t coming from me. 

My Physics teacher was OBSESSED with the Pittsburgh Steelers. I mean, this man’s classroom was decked out in memorabilia. The decor was more interesting than the class. The Steelers just happened to advance to the Super Bowl in 2006, along with the Seattle Seahawks. My teacher wagered a deal for all of his students: If the Steelers win the Super bowl, every student will get 60 extra credit points added to their final assignment. February 5, 2006 was the first time that I watched a football game. 

I anxiously watched the Super Bowl game on my 19 inch Durabrand television. I had no idea what was going on. I just knew I was rooting for the Steelers. My parents knew why I was watching the game. Let’s just say, they were not amused. The Steelers ended up claiming the victory, and I was clear to receive my diploma. My father, the realist, wanted to see the diploma in my hand before he would accept that as reality.

As the school year was coming to a close, a lot of students began bragging about college acceptance letters. I was slightly jealous, but I had a job interview to look forward to. 

My mother took me to a job fair at an IKEA on a Saturday morning. For some odd reason, I volunteered to the interviewer that I was terrible at math. To my surprised, she still hired me. I began working part-time because I was still in school. I had completely pushed the idea of college out of my mind.

After I graduated(My father got his proof), I started working full-time at IKEA. I didn’t even finish working the summer before I was fired. I got another job where my older sister worked because she was know as a hard and excellent worker. There was no interview. I was always known at work as “Angelica’s sister”. I think five people actually called me by my government name. 

I made a few friends at work. I was always hanging out when I was not working. Little did I know, I was about to go through a life-changing experience.

Nope, I still didn’t get into college. In February 2007, I found out that I was 7 weeks pregnant. I was terrified, and I had so many factors working against me. However, I decided to parent my child. I gave birth later that year, and I had no idea that I was in for one Hell of a ride. 

My mother wouldn’t let me sit around and feel sorry for myself. My mother and father were young parents. They raised five badass children. We weren’t the “My kids are going to save the world!” type of badasses. We were the “You better be grateful for a mother’s love.” type of badasses. My mother knew how hard life was going to be. Still, she believed in me. She was the optimist.

I made the decision to attend college because I was convinced that I would make bank if I had a degree. I needed good money because I had a child.

In 2010, I first attended college at a local campus. I briefly enrolled in cosmetology, before switching my major to Business. The atmosphere reminded me of high school all over again. Students were late. Students slept. 

I was “Students”. Still, I managed to complete my work and make decent grades. Unfortunately, I wasn’t getting what I needed from this school. I was taking classes that I didn’t necessarily need. I became discouraged and withdrew from school. Are you sensing commitment issues? 

A dear friend introduced me to the University of Phoenix online school. I enrolled at the end of 2013. Only 17 of my 36 community college credits transferred. I was PISSED. Still, I carried on. 

In June 2015, I finally obtained an Associate Degree in Business Administration. I immediately jumped into the Bachelor’s program. I was on a roll. I devoted so much to my schoolwork. I was working during and after childbirth labor. I even carved out time for schoolwork during my annual family vacations. 

Up next, was my Bachelor’s Degree. After I completed 18 class credits, I was awarded with a certificate in Business Administration. In 2017, I  obtained my full Bachelor’s Degree. I took some time away from my studies for a few months before getting back to work. This time, I was hungry for a Master’s Degree. I wanted to maximize the amount of money that I could earn. A higher degree meant a higher pay, right? 

I was worn out. Being a stay-at-home mom and keeping up with my schoolwork was starting to take it’s toll on my mental health. My grades started slipping, and I ended up on academic probation. I was crushed. Nothing else that I achieved mattered the moment that I saw that “academic probation” status. I took another break before I started my last three classes. I felt like I owed myself that much. After I exhausted my leave of absences, I returned to school.

I begrudgingly began the final classes of my Master’s program. I did fairly well in the next class. In fact, my GPA rose a little bit. It seemed like every A spiked my overall grade by .000001%, but every F would tank my overall grade by at least 500%. 

Going into my second to last class, I was optimistic. Unfortunately, my teacher was a harsh grader. I was writing two papers every week. It seemed that my teacher was never satisfied with my work. I framed a lot of my assignments around being a stay-at-home mom because I wasn’t a rocket scientist, like my classmates. I guess that wasn’t good enough. Still, I escaped that class with a B-.

I entered my last class with very little gas in the tank. I had another teacher who was a tough grader. I was OVER it. 

I was dealt a harsh blow. My teacher gave me an F on my week one assignment. I didn’t understand his rationale. I spent many hours on this paper. I broke down. I cried on and off for two days. I watched my grade drop from an A to a G+. 

Once I recovered, I did what I do best. Can you guess what that was? Yes, I dropped out. Yes, I did. I dropped out of school just one class shy of obtaining a Master’s Degree. It was late in 2019.

I was no longer able to handle the emotional toll. I was a 31 year old wife with 6 young children. I was putting an unreasonable amount of pressure on myself, and school just became too much of a commitment.

As soon as I submitted my request for withdrawal, I could feel my brain cells repairing themselves. I felt a huge wave of peace wash over me. I knew in that moment that I had made the right decision.

As expected, my academic advisor called me. I almost immediately regretted answering the phone. He kept pushing me, but I wouldn’t budge. He knew what my home life was like, but it was almost as if he wanted me to put my family on the back burner. I began to think that this man was going to get a check if I graduated from my program. 

Well, I apologize for stopping his bag, but I was firm in my decision. His pushy attitude was not helping to reverse my decision. My advisor continued to call until I put his number on the “Do not disturb” list. 

Honestly, I didn’t even like school. For all of those years, I held onto the mentality that having a college education would guarantee this massive income. I had been studying for a Master’s Degree and was still unsure of what I wanted to do for my career. 

That’s no different from today. I was sure that  if I did not have children, I would not have gone to school. I genuinely felt like I had wasted my time.

School was never for me. I had to have this realization about myself. School became a way for me to impress my parents. I never did this for me. Obtaining degrees was a way to make me feel worthy. Going to school never made me happy.

I enjoyed the praise that I received from my parents. I was in an imaginary race with my siblings to become the favorite child. I loved my name being attached to something other than birth certificates.

Yet, people still believe in me. Despite my struggles to believe in myself, there are people who still cheer me on. My mother, the optimistic, still prays for me. My father, the realistic, still loves me. My friends still encourage me. 

 I went to college to get more knowledge. Surprisingly, I learned more about myself than I ever knew.

Today, I enjoy my peace. I enjoy not having to worry about deadlines, or being judged for how I interpret different lessons. Most of all, I enjoy not feeling validated by a piece of paper.

I may not have my feet on the ground yet, but I think I’m close to landing.