I found myself in a fetal position with a sudden wave of nausea. I was about to travel somewhere alone for the first time as a single woman again. Divorce can be a taboo topic and is something that brings discomfort on all fronts. I traveled solo a lot when I was married, but this time was different. I had to get myself together. I could do this. I took a deep breath, found my trusty bottle of Tums and grabbed my suitcase. The sharp pang of the late-night winter breeze hit me immediately as I walked outside. I only had an hour left to make it on time for my flight at this point…
My hands were still shaking as I got through security. I felt another panic attack coming. I rushed to the bathroom and cried yet again. After dry heaving, I tried to get myself together. What was wrong with me? This was no different than any other flight; why was I so scared?
I knew that something in me yearned to be free. I took care of everyone else and upheld their needs over mine. For the first time, I had to step out on my own, and that was terrifying. I got on the plane, and we ascended. The pilot came on, as usual, and his words made my stomach turn. ”We have officially reached a safe altitude. We are going to hit some bumps on the way there. Our flight time will be about five hours and fifty minutes. It’ll be a long flight, but we will get there eventually.”
You see, I had been on nothing but turbulent flights for the last year and a half, and I was not ready for another. Although you may encounter bumps along the way, you will still reach your destination.
I arrived safely in LA, and it was beautiful. I felt crazy for wearing such a huge coat, but at least I had on lipstick! I attempted to get a good night’s rest, but I was so freaked out that I could barely sleep. I woke up before my alarm went off and showered. I cautiously walked to BlogHer’s event site and automatically loved the building. It was open, full of light, and, most importantly, inviting. When I finally figured out where I was supposed to go, I had so many staff members greet me. I asked, “Is this where the conference is?” Each said, “Yes. This is where you need to be.”
I didn’t know this at the time, but they were right.
From the speakers to the swag bags, I felt like a princess. I loved hearing the stories of empowerment. I loved hearing other women speak their truths and provide us with a glimpse of their passions. Being listened to when I was vulnerable enough to talk about why women’s health was so important was so different for me. The sponsors there made me feel beautiful and dignified.
As I ate with a new friend, Michelle, the warm California sun kissed my cheeks as I ate on the rooftop with a Bolthouse smoothie in hand. She was genuinely interested in my health journey, and we still message each other to this day.
BlogHer has created a community of content creators, but they have also provided us a space to recognize our creativity, release our power, and renew our dreams. I have started writing again after losing the passion because I was once told that I wasn’t creative. However, now more than ever, the world needs our voices. BlogHer has continued to show up for its community by pivoting to virtual events and by showing support throughout the Black Lives Matter Movement.
The women behind the BlogHer umbrella embody the multiple hats that we wear as women. It is an honor to watch them continue to uplift women. I remember feeling incredibly light. For the first time in a long time, I felt a genuine smile. As I reflect on that time, I realize how important those moments were for me. Don’t be afraid to try something new, especially when you have amazing women who will stand beside you. The world needs you. Find groups like BlogHer that will give you ideas that will help you find your voice and provide you with resources.
As a Black woman, it is hard to be heard or seen in society. When a Facebook post was created to share information about our businesses, I didn’t overthink it. I didn’t realize that BlogHer would support me in a way that I hadn’t expected. As a business owner, there are so many things to think about. I learn something new each time I tune in, and I’m grateful to be in this community. I will continue to show up and will continue to create a legacy through my contributions to food, fitness, and fun.
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