#VeganLife I’ve decided to fully go back #Vegan starting Monday. It’s definitely a challenge and takes LOTS of discipline. This time I’m going Gluten Free too. I just discovered at my Gynecologist visit that my Endometriosis has returned. In January 2018, I had surgery to remove Fibroids. I was alarmed recently that every month I’m vomiting and in major pain. 😫😫😫 This is the life of an #EndoGirl. The Fibroids which caused heavy bleeding are gone. The #Endo that causes vomiting and heavy cramps crept back in my life. My gynecologist wants to avoid another surgery. It would be my fourth surgery. She recommended that we medicate for now with Motrin for the pain and Zofran for the nausea. She also suggested that I try to modify my diet. For a month I’m going to try the #EndoDiet that avoids foods high in hormones and gluten. Vegan life is beneficial in many ways. I want to dispel the myth that it’s expensive to eat healthy. I’ll be doing Vegan on a budget. If you are interested in joining me try it here:
Yesterday, I was stopped by the Montgomery County Police Department (MCPD) and I was petrified. 😳 Every since Sandra Bland was killed I’m afraid to be stopped by police for any reason.
I am a law abiding citizen. I didn’t knowingly violate any traffic laws. I quietly provided my license and registration frozen in fear. I felt some relief as I recently got a new license with my veteran status on the front. It seems to make officers less abrasive and more relaxed when I’m stopped. I didn’t ask any questions or make any sudden movements. I cut my music off, turned my inside light on, kept my hands visible on the steering wheel, and silently prayed.
The white female officer approached my vehicle and she was friendly. I have to give credit that MCP Chief Tom Manger and the MCPD are always very professional and follow protocol. Chief Manger often talks at community forums and I do feel safe knowing he is leading the police force. The Officer approached and asked the routine question “do you know why I stopped you?” Of course my answer was “no.” She told me my left headlight was out. 🤦🏾♀️
The Officer gave me a warning with a vehicle maintenance citation to get the headlight fixed within 30 days. This would be the second time I’ve been stopped due to lights. (Note to self: Turn my car on and do a walk around before I drive at night.)
The first time I was stopped it was right after Sandra Bland was killed you can imagine the fear I felt in my heart. My lights usually stay on automatically and I had recently maintanenced my vehicle. The mechanic switched my lights to manual versus automatic. I drove from the Metro parking lot which is fully lit and exited the parking garage. The cop stopped me literally as I exited the parking garage.
I was scared to death that night getting stopped by the police officer. I was in tears. I called a friend to put him on speaker phone to witness the stop just in case I was killed.
I hate that I am now afraid of police officers. Public servants meant to protect us. The fear is real. I’m scared that a simple traffic stop will lead to my death. It causes high anxiety. How do I get past these feelings? #sayhername #sandrabland
#TBT @simplyebony1 @success.creators #ThursdayThoughts #SimplyEbony #MyStory
Who was this woman four years ago? This woman had just transitioned from the Air Force a world she knew all her adult life. This woman had just launched her non-profit The Next Chapter and started her new position with the government. This woman fled her apartment in the middle of the night fearful of her life. Her abusive, manipulative, and controlling ex-boyfriend threatened to kill her and he was law enforcement. The police and courts failed to protect her. She spent years in court when her abuser refused to comply with the protective order. She lived every night in fear and had to leave her job, her apartment, and the life she knew to escape her ex-boyfriend who was not only abusive but a stalker. This woman was unemployed for four months trying to figure it all out. This woman never lost faith. This woman was in transition on the path to rebuilding her life. She found strength in her Sisters of Queen Esther at @fbcglenarden First Baptist Church of Glenarden. She joined @bosseduporg Bossed Up Courage Community! This woman found a community of Sisters with @emiliearies Bossed Up! This women kept a smile. She wasn’t deterred. She fought her way through her circumstances. She wasn’t a victim nor did she ever once ask for a hand out. She picked herself up. She leaned on her support system. She entered the Next Chapter of her life like a Boss! This woman is a survivor. This woman is ME.
This month I celebrate over 18 years serving in the Government of the United States of America! 🇺🇸 My first 14 was Enlisted in the United States Air Force and the past 4 was serving as a government civilian. In these four years I’ve achieved tremendous goals.
My proudest moment was serving on the team that successfully implemented Project SOAR a Pilot Program that provided approximately $2 million of Grant funding to public housing authorities (PHAs) to deploy education navigators that provide individualized assistance to youth and their families in FAFSA completion, financial literacy and college readiness, postsecondary program applications and post-acceptance assistance. Philadelphia, Chicago, and Los Angeles were amongst the cities that received funding.
I received recognition for my work and was awarded the Innovator of the Year by the Next Generation (NEXTGen) of Government: NEXTGen Award Winners. I currently serve on the board that plans the NEXTGen Training Conference for future government leaders. I also serve as a senior mentor for both NEXTGen and the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Cyber Professionals.
My agency paid for me to earn my certificate as an Associate Certified Coach for the International Coach Federation and my Masters Certificate in Project Management from George Washington University.
This was all in four years time. Imagine the possibilities in the next four years! I’m excited to see where this journey will lead me. I share my experience to inspire others and to show you that anything is possible. You can choose to just go to work and clock in and out or you can choose to make a difference. Your choice!!! Choose to be GREAT!!!
#SimplyEbony #SuccessCreators #WINsDay
For a long time I was stuck in a rut. Just existing. Living life but not truly living my best life. One of my mentors pointed out to me that I accomplished so much, but what is my goal? What do I want at this moment in my personal and professional life? She challenged me to figure out my “why” and connect biweekly with senior leaders, influencers, key stakeholders, and those that inspire me to create a powerful network.
The lightbulb clicked after talking with my mentor. I immediately took ownership of my life and my joy. After a long period of darkness (grief, sadness, anger, isolation, and denial), I finally found light. I became unstuck. Not solely through a clinical therapist but through traditional Chinese Medicine and Accupuncture. The accupuncture improved my mood by correcting the imbalance of energy in my body. I also found a Life Coach. My Life Coach helped me to identify my source of happiness: the little uninhibited girl inside of me. That little girl has no fear, she’s joyful, loves to have fun and travel.
Through the encouragement and support of my Life Coach I started to practice self-care and to do what brings me joy: travel and creating memorable experiences.
• I’ve traveled to the Great Wolf Lodge with my Dad, Baby Brother and Cousins and had the time of my life at the indoor heated water park! Watching the kids play and enjoy themselves brought me joy.
• I saw Anita Baker LIVE at her farewell concert with my elementary school best friend and spent time with a dear Air Force Friend. This filled me with an indescribable joy.
• I traveled to Hawaii to see my Air Force Sister retire. It was joyful witnessing her ceremony and feeling all the love from friends and family. The beach and spending time with my Military family brought me immense joy that I haven’t experienced in a long time.
• Next week I’ll be traveling to New Orleans for the Essence Music Festival to enjoy great food, Sister Fellowship, Great Drinks, and of course listen to musical icons like Janet Jackson, Jill Scott, The Roots, Escape, Mary J. Blige and Fantasia. This brings me exponential joy.
You see I was spending time “accomplishing goals” but I wasn’t living in the moment. That was my “aha moment.” My mentor helped me to realize that my toolbox of accomplishments was not my source of joy. I needed to rediscover what brought me joy. Not every treatment or method of therapy is going to help everyone the same. I’m a big advocate of traditional therapy as needed, but also incorporating naturopathic treatments and seeking mentors and life coaches. For me healing is a collaborative effort. We are all unique. I will eventually seek a grief counselor as I’ve suffered tremendous loss in a short period of time. For now my methods of treatment have worked tremendously to improve my mood and quality of life. I’m living in the moment with joy.
Let’s reflect on this. This picture is from the “Glow Photo Series: Philly Edition.” I purchased my Abaya in preparation for the Dubai Blackout trip last year. When I wear my Abaya I feel beautiful. I feel empowered. I feel LOVE.
Wearing my Abaya is a personal tribute to that little black girl lost that finally found herself. At 14-years old when I was raped I had on a similar outfit. It was Forest Green. Loose fitting. Long and flowing. Oftentimes when Rape victims share our stories the first question is: “What did you wear?” It’s classic “victim blaming.” The assumption is if you wear certain clothing (short skirts, tight jeans, revealing clothes, etc.) you are “asking to be raped.” This is FALSE!!! The truth: Rapists Rape. It doesn’t matter what you wear. Time of day. What you look like or any of the many assumptions people come up with to victim blame and shame. Unfortunately people still ask intrusive questions and think this way. If you do it please stop asking these questions it’s extremely offensive and insensitive. 😔😔😔
I’ve periodically posted pictures in my Abayas of various colors. I love the way they flow and enjoy the vibrant colors. Each time I post I get comments or inbox messages saying: Why did you wear that? You look fat in that garb. 😑 Are you Muslim now? 🤔 I’ve even been told I can’t dress and need a fashion consult because of my Abaya. 😫 It’s a shocking what people freely feel the need to say. It’s rude and offensive.
I proudly come from a predominantly Islamic family, it’s a large part of Philadelphia and our history. The Nation of Islam is very prominent in my city. I’m Christian. I’m troubled that it concerns others so much what religion I am or what I wear. Why? Why is it necessary to comment on someone else’s attire? Does my Abaya offend you? Are you uncomfortable that I’m comfortable being fully clothed in my garb? I love who I am and what the Abaya represents: Beauty, Confidence and Love. 💛💛💛
I’ll never forget the day April 5, 2012 was the day I decided to end my life. I decided on this day to end my Air Force career. I was suffering from chronic health issues and was facing an uphill battle in the military with my First Sergeant. We were friends previously and she said to me: “I’ve never seen you this sick before.” At the time she was going out of her way to make my life miserable because she didn’t understand “why” I was constantly sick and in the hospital. I would ultimately undergo surgery for a Gall Bladder Removal, Appendix Removal, and an Uterine Myomectomy to remove Endometriosis and Fibroids. If you have experienced any of these at one time imagine suffering through it in the course of a year. I was tired and felt like my body was failing me. God had other plans for my life and sent the Chaplain to intervene when I wanted to give up on life. The Chaplain prayed over me and immediately I felt a sense of relief. Chaplain Burrell saved my life.
By July 2012 I opted to separate from the Air Force and start a new life. I had no idea what was in store. But God! I landed by first job post-Air Force after my first interview. The job doubled my Air Force salary. Since then I served as a political consultant on multiple campaigns, established a non-profit and for-profit business, and landed a highly coveted government position.
You can’t tell me GOD is not real HE intervened when I thought it would be best to end it all. I’m forever grateful to Chaplain Burrell for being called by God to pray over me. In that moment he transformed my spirit. I share this not to play victim or for sympathy but to give HOPE to others who may be in a dark place. Don’t give up. Keep pushing. God may close many doors in your life. It’s not the end it’s the beginning of a new journey. Move forward. Trust God.
~Love, Simply Ebony
#MeToo “You’re too pretty to be in the Air Force. You’re too pretty to fight in a war. You’re too pretty to be an Intelligence Analyst.” These were the outrageous things men would say as a backhanded compliment. Usually shortly after the comment would be some form of harassment: an overly long hug, a sneak feel of my butt, groping of my breasts, an unwanted kiss on the cheek, a sexual comment about my chest or other assets. I was told routinely to smile and accept the compliments. Don’t be so uptight. It’s just a compliment right?
No, it’s wrong! I have a voice to speak up. I’m not “just a pretty girl.” I am intelligent. I worked my ass off to successfully complete the Air Force Basic Military Training and subsequently the Air Force Technical Training school to become an Intelligence Analyst. I served honorably in the United States Air Force and volunteered to serve in Operation Enduring Freedom as a Silent Warrior (Intelligence Analyst). I’m offended by the notion that “pretty” defines who I am when I’m so much more: An Air Force Veteran, an Entrepreneur, a Community Service Advocate and a Leader.
I’m not just a “Pretty Girl!” I’m a BOSSED UP WOMAN!!!
Roderick Dunston’s death has opened my eyes to many truths some painful and some insightful. Quietly attending his funeral here in Maryland and observing others I realized a few things.
#1 He was loved by many. ❤️🖤❤️ He gave tirelessly after his stroke. It was so important for him to raise awareness and help others.
#2 He had a BIG heart. He loved EVERYBODY. There was not one person in the room that wasn’t touched in some way by Roderick.
#3 Compassion. That’s the one Word that rang volumes. His brother Marcus Dunston holds so many of his traits. To just be loving and compassionate to everyone.
#4 Guard your tongue. This lesson Roderick taught me over and over again. Not everything needs to be said. The truth will reveal itself.
#5 Live LIFE to the fullest until your last breath. We truly never know when our last days will be here on this Earth.
Love Freely, Receive Love Openly, Give Willingly, Be Compassionate, and Be Cautious of the words that you say to others for you can never take them back.
#roderickdunston @roderickdunston #rip #strokesurvivor #HeartLove #HeartMonth