It's Been A Long Time. I Shouldn't Have Left You.

by - Sunday, August 18, 2019

🚨-----LONG POST ALERT-----🚨

My last post on Chocolate Laced was on September 17, 2014. I was 23 years old and the newly hired eighth-grade mathematics cooperative teacher at a charter school in the South End of Albany… serving a community that I had grown very close to. I was incredibly ambitious. I had the greatest dreams for Chocolate Laced but even greater dreams for the 75 lives and minds that I had been given the opportunity to change and shape, respectively. I was unaware, at the time, that the amount of dedication required to make sure my babies were successful would completely pull me away from all the other things that I loved to do. But, I was committed to making a change for them… always telling myself, “I’ll start blogging again, one day… once I get this time management thing down…” Five years later…

CLB tee, Gap jeans, Express flats, F21 glasses, clutch & earrings, H&M spike necklace, Izzy & Liv turquoise necklace
I’m BAAAAACK! :D [Without a steady grasp on the time management thing, but experience is the best teacher so, here we are.]

Matching lipstick and Fitbit straps, okay?!
SO MUCH has happened in the last five years, I don’t even know if I can cram it all into this one blog post without boring you to tears, BUT! I will attempt to do so anyway. I have MISSED blogging something FIERCE, I tell you. Why? Well, I came into blogging because it was [and still is] much easier for me to express myself through words. I’m normally reserved unless I’m in my element—shoutout to my extroverted-introverts, WOOT-WOOT! When given the time to think and reflect, I am able to present my truest self. When given the opportunity to be my truest self, I flourish. I also have a deep and genuine desire to create things and express myself creatively. At a young age, I thought of myself as lacking a natural talent. There were people around me who I admired because of the things that they could do, and all I felt I was good at was math.. and school. So, I challenged myself to become better at things and because I am indecisive AF, I wanted to do EVERYTHING. Of all the things I grew to love doing through my exploration, the ones I found myself revisiting often were: poetry, dancing, doodling, designing and, well Chocolate Laced.

Thrifted sunglasses, Zara gem drop earrings, Boohoo top, CLB skirt

While teaching kept me from doing the things I loved for ME, it certainly did not keep me from doing the things I loved for my babies. 
Poetry: I’ve remixed so many songs and turned them into class chants. 
Dancing: I’ve started a dance team at the school. 
Doodling/Graphic Art: You should see my classroom! I will post some point. A new school year is upon us and anchor charts are literally a meditative activity for me. 
Chocolate Laced: Aside from being nominated for Best-Dressed for the past three years (and winning two of them. Yes. I lost once. It will NEVER happen again), I’ve tried to remain as Chocolate Laced as I could with all that was going on around me and inside my head. (Check on your quiet and reserved friends, y’all. They love you and are thinking about you and are just too...anxious/stressed/distracted/nervous/defeated/and more…to reach out to you first. I was there.)

I’m happy to be back & excited to take Chocolate Laced to the heights I’ve always dreamed about.

F21 glasses, Zara earrings, Asos floral dress

So, without further ado, October 2014 - July 2019 in a nutshell.
NOTE: I do not have stellar memory. I used pictures from different places to aid in recalling the events that have transpired. Someone told me that, a long time ago in certain places, people would recognize such a thing as witchcraft. Hehehe. Toil and trouble, babe.

2014 (October to December) 
I moved out of my parents’ house. As a Nigerian-American, this is a big deal. I’m the third child of four and the first to move out of all the girls and it was not due to marriage (although, love did have a role to play in my decision). My parents are the most loving and forgiving parents I know. I am forever grateful that they did not disown me because of this.

I  got an iPhone! Haven’t looked back since.
I went kayaking for the first time. It was beautiful and scary (I can’t swim). 
The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie became my favorite book. It was a gift from a coworker at the time who I’d had many interesting conversations with. Dr. Yehudah, thank you.
I got my first car! It was an impromptu decision, but incredibly freeing and exciting! HA! Wait until you get to 2019. 

My glasses broke in half! I didn’t have the means to replace them immediately, so I rocked the nerd tape in the middle of my glasses for about five weeks and then...
I got contacts for the first time! It took me 10 minutes to put them in and 30 minutes to get them out! But I did it! And now, my dreams of wearing contacts with faux glasses has finally come true. 
Polyamory entered my life by storm. We can talk more about that later if you’d like. As reluctant as I was to accept it for what it was, I am thankful that it taught me a new way to love and a new way to see love.
THE LION KING ON BROADWAY IS AMAZING! Flashback Time. Growing up in my family’s Brooklyn apartment, somehow the soundtrack for this blessing of a show made its way into my possession. I don’t know how but let me tell you, I had the ENTIRE SOUNDTRACK memorized from The Circle of Life to the Reprise. Every sound and hum and melody had a special place in my mind and in my heart. I CRIED at the show. Real. African. Tears. And now, I must take a break from writing this post to listen to the soundtrack. Lion King Appreciation. 
My best friend took me to Vegas and we had a blast! 
I got my nose pierced and this mother sucker has yet to heal. If anyone has any advice on this matter, please help.
My camera and equipment were stolen

I started my loc journey in February of this year by doing two-strand twists. I should have paid more attention to the parts as I was making them, but, at the time, I had no way of seeing past the top and sides of my head. Getting locs was a decision I made for a few different reasons. Curiosity: I’d always wondered what my hair would do if loc’d. I have fine 4c-textured hair with incredible shrinkage and illusive thickness. Time: Doing my hair has always been a lengthy process. My style of choice was always something protective so I could leave my hair alone for as long as possible. I was tired of losing 2-6 hours every weekend for washing my hair and countless hours in my morning styling it. Retention of Length: I used to tell my friends that my hair had a growth limit. It never grew past a certain point. Mostly, I believe this is because it was weak and unhealthy but locs, in my mind, was the solution to this.
Over the years, I was gaining weight slowly. This was the year I began to feel it and see it. I left blogging at 140 lbs. I started 2017 at 160. I ended 2017 at almost 180… and I was not handling this well. I had, by this time stopped doing everything that brought me joy. As you can imagine, my clothes didn’t fit, but that didn’t matter since I didn’t ever feel like getting dressed. This was a rough time for me. Even more so because I didn’t share how I was feeling with anyone. However, teaching was a blessing for me during this time. I really love my students and being able to provide for them made this time period easier. 

One of my students inspired me to pick up hand lettering and calligraphy! (Alexius, if you’re reading this, turn this talent of yours into a business, please! You’re amazing!)
I got my first plants! Seven succulents. Only two survived. But I’ve gotten more since then and I’m getting better! 
I reconnected with an old friend, Ms. Byrd, who I will love and cherish forever.
I went hiking for the first time in Thacher Park. It was beautiful. 
I reached my heaviest (187 pounds) and decided that change needed to happen. I started by completely changing my diet, shutting out GrubHub as a habit, meal prepping and doing small workouts here and there (mostly jogs and walks.)  Doing this helped me get to 180 before January.
A very close friend of mine spoke words that inspired me to return to Chocolate Laced. Thanks, Zay! 
At the start of the new school year, I met someone who had a great impact on my life. A new co-worker turned friend (thanks Greena!) who gave me just the push I needed in order to get my life back together. We’re both May babies and she planned a trip to Miami to celebrate her birthday. She invited me (and other coworker friends) to join her in completing Beachbody’s Transform 20. I love working out… but only in groups. I blame being on the track team for this. There’s something about the support and likemindedness that keeps me moving and makes it less boring/monotonous. But this was exactly what I needed.

2019 (January to July)
More plants! Six dracaenas, a peace lily, and a snake plant. This year isn’t even over and I’m sad to say that they didn’t all make it. 
For two weeks, I consumed just raw, plant-based foods. It was an amazing experience and journey that convinced me to be more serious in my adoption of the Sebi diet. 
I went to Miami! This was my final push to get back to Chocolate Laced. As you probably noticed from the review of my years, travel is not a regular thing for me, by any means. And I’m okay with that, for now. But Miami changed me. I was coming from being in a very dark place in my mind and there was so much light shed on me in that beautiful land of palm trees and sea breeze. (I love palm trees by the way. Did you know that there are over 1000 species of palm trees? As soon as I got off the plane, I was spotting them and all their differences/similarities.) 
By the time I got to Miami, I was 162 pounds. Now, I’m 153. My goal is 150. Maybe, one day, I’ll set my eyes on being 140 again.. but I love my thighs and my cupcake booty too much. I need those to stay.
My S.O. and I made great moves this year with our business, PHRE. It’s an acronym that stands for Pure Harmonious Revolutionary Experience, our promise within the name. It’s also a way of life. Our way of life. That we want to share with you. More on PHRE in the future. I think you’ll like it. 

Wasn’t that an earful? I did cut some things out and most likely missed a lot more memories/highlights that I didn’t have pictures to help resurrect.

I know, it’s been a long time. 
I shouldn’t have left you.  (Left you)
Without a dope [‘fit] to [dress] to. 

Until next time y’all.  To those of you who read this entire post, we’re friends now (if we weren’t already) because you know my life better than most people do at this point. Hello friend! How were you last five years!?
CLB tee, thrifted belt & bag, thrifted F21 skirt, Crown Vintage platform shoes  that I borrowed from my sister & hurt like a 🤬, so I will never wear again

Peace & Blessings, 


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