As I write this under slight duress at the Chicago O’Hare Airport (I’m making my way to New Orleans as we speak and didn’t have enough time to write this at home) I fondly think back to a couple of weeks ago, when I spent a whole Sunday with my goddaughter, Lyrique. Lyrique is a VERY cute, bright eyed and super intelligent little girl and one of her passions is singing. On this particular day, while riding around in the car, we did karaoke (the Disney version of course) and sang to some of Disney’s best songs. I have to say I think Aladdin’s “A Whole New World” is my favorite! Don’t judge! :::Side note: we also watched the “Can’t Wait to be King” video clip from the Lion King and do you know that Lyrique casually handed the phone back to me and told me she didn’t like it. I almost fell out! But I suppose since she’s only three I shouldn’t take it to heart, right?!::: Anyway, it was a fun filled day for the both of us and our time together brought back a rush of childhood memories. I had forgotten my love of Disney movies, but most importantly the carefreeness of being a kid. Considering I don’t hang with many three year olds, Lyrique’s bright eyed zeal for life and her optimism was not only refreshing but a reminder of what I could use more of in my life right about now.
Later that week while chatting up my friend Erin about her Once Upon a Castle Disney T-shirt and accessories business, she showed me a t-shirt that read “Holding out for a castle with a library.” Instantly it resonated with me, because at some point every little girl wants to be a princess and live in a castle, or at least I did. I thought back to my time with a Lyrique and it made me ask myself some real questions. What was my proverbial castle with a library? Or in other words, what happened to the dreams I once had for myself before life conditioned me into believing my dreams were too big? Too far fetched? Impossible. Was I chasing those said dreams? Or had I, like a lot of us do, one day decided they’d never happen so I quietly packed them up and stored them away never to be revisited again.
You know, if you allow it to, life has a way of breaking us down and telling us what we can’t do. I can speak for myself and say that there were many hopes and dreams I decided were not possible; even better, told myself weren’t even fathomable for someone like myself. And for too long, I let experiences, others opinions about me, society, negative thoughts about myself dictate to me what was and what was not possible for me. Even as we speak, I have situations that if I allow them to, make me feel unworthy, unloved and not good enough. Every day I fight the good fight against low self esteem, but I’m grateful because I have developed a level of self awareness where I am constantly challenging negative beliefs about myself. It’s not easy and sometimes down right exhausting, but I refuse to believe that I have seen all that life has to offer. I have found that as I move forward in my journey of self love so to speak, I often find myself having to look back. I wonder if the three year old me was a lot like Lyrique? Was I once bold? Fearless? Inquisitive to a fault? And if so, what changed?! And most importantly, how do I get that back? I suppose I’m writing this as a challenge to myself (and to you) to really examine if you’re living your best life and being your best self. I’ve decided that I deserve that and so do you! So, not to be cliche or anything, but here’s to holding out on that castle with the library, of course!
Blouse: Thrifted at Savers
Disney T- shirt: Once Upon A Castle
Sneakers: Red Pumas, find similar HERE
Makeup & Photography by Vania J. Arroyo