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My Blackness Is Not A Trend: On Martina Big And Her Transition As A 'Black' Woman

When I first heard about Martina Big, I thought great, another Rachel Dolezal.

A knock off Rachel Dolezal because I highly doubt Big’s ass was working for somebody’s NAACP.

It seems it was only yesterday when Dolezal was called out for fraudulently living her life as a Black woman.

Thanks to a recent Maury Povich's Episode: Can You Change Your Race? we’ve arrived again in a position where a White woman wants to be Black.

What’s new? I mean Black women set trends. From the darkest of darks to the lightest of lights we are some of the most beautiful people to walk this earth. Painstakingly, we are also the most oppressed. You can choose to debate me at another time.

Big’s story is quite simple, through body modification and chemical objections she has transformed herself into a “Black” woman. If you haven’t had the chance to catch the Maury  segment you can peep the clip below.

When she was younger she wanted to be Pamela Anderson. Then one day she decided she wanted “to become the proud owner of Black skin”.

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She now identifies as a Black woman and I like many people am not here for it. Her kinky weave, uncomfortable Black Girls Rock chain, and her “80% Blackness” as she likes to call it is nothing more than an obsessive, psychological and ignorant call for help.

In 2015, I wrote a piece titled: The Complex Identity of Rachel Dolezal. It contained a brief but honest opinion of my thoughts surrounding Rachel’s “Black” identity. To be honest, the most critical thing I could have said in regards to Rachel Dolezal was surrounding her ability to pass into Black spaces as she pleases and leave behind oppression.

….Whether this means adopting a curly hair texture or getting a tan, she can come and go into Black spaces as she pleases.
While leaving behind her "Blackness" she can leave any systematic hardships, prejudices, statistics, social, political and economic burdens that are associated with being Black in America. A political hierarchy hinders opportunities for those permanently Black to up and leave their identity. Furthermore, the Black community has every right  to be upset because being Black is a blessing just as much as is it a death sentence. And these are two things that should not be taken lightly, especially for a person whose perpetuating a modern form of Blackface.  

In reference to Big, these same sentiments apply. However, they are more so intriguing especially in the current climate of our time where we assessing race, racism, White supremacy, and the privileges of skin tones.

The conversations surrounding Big, are nothing short of interesting and problematic as many people are comparing Big to the number of Blacks who have undergone skin bleaching to appease to White Eurocentric beauty standards and the privileges that come with them.  

Just read the captions below:

Aww, so here we are again with another debate. To be quite frank, I don’t care to hear it. All I know are these 9 facts.

  1. The reason why some Black folks bleach their skin, has much to do with White Supremacy as much as it does to those who’ve been taught to hate themselves. Colorism is a derivative of this struggle Jay-Z said it best: “Light n*gga, dark n*gga, faux n*gga, real n*gga. Rich n*gga, poor n*gga, house n*gga, field n*gga. Still n*gga….
  2. One of the biggest problems associated with this modern day Black face is the idea of loving to be Black, loving the features of Black women, our beautiful bodies, hair and culture but wanting nothing to do with the struggle and oppressive nature that comes with our Black identity.
  3. On the case of gender and sexuality we know one thing: Being Black and LGBTQIA+ and being White and LGBTQIA+ are two different things. That is because a privilege of Whiteness and White supremacy lives even within this community. So please, miss me with the can’t pick and choose. Until, our society  no longer chooses to depends on White Supremacy just know racism lives here too.
  4. My Blackness is not a trend. Yes. We Black people are trendsetters and nothing is better than being BLACKASF but, it is not a trend you can love, embrace, and appropriate then when you so choose take your mask off. My Blackness is not subjective to hair extensions, Black skin or big boobs.
  5. Big physiological needs help. There’s something wrong with her mentally and I fundamentally believe, she may still unsatisfied with her looks. #ITSTHESOULTHATNEEDSTHESURGERY
  6. No matter what Big is trying to look like, she still has White Privilege. This is because she will always be known as a White woman who darkened her skin, and altered her features but had the privilege, money, and did I say privilege to do so. #IDONTHAVETHEENERRGYLORDT
  7. When situations like this occur, am I the only one to think about the amount of  research out on people “changing their race”?
  8. Does #BLACKLIVESMATTER to Big?...... Because it doesn’t even matter to some…. Let me not….
  9. Race never was and never will be just skin deep. For those of you who think that sorry you’re wrong. “It’s just my skin color, I don’t get the divide…” No. I’m going to need you to get it, receive it and learn that “race is everything, literature, science, art- in a word, civilization depends on it.” I discovered this quote while reading the intriguing novel Race and Manifest Destiny by Reginald Horsman. This novel overviews the history of Anglo-Saxon and White Superiority in America. This quote inparticular screamed to me because it was made by Robert Knox the author of the 1850 novel Races of Men. Today, it is 2017 and In our world, this quote is no different. 

And with that said I drop the mic.

60 Soul Touching Songs For Broke Ass People Pt. 1

Broke? Been there.

Struggling? Been there too.

Here 60 songs that speak to the struggle of Broke Ass People:

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1. Po' Folks- Nappy Roots

For the Broke person on the come up.

2. Picture Me Rollin-2Pac

For the Broke person who needs to flex.

3. Back In The Day- Ahmad 

For the Broke person who needs to reflect.

4. Live In The Sky- T.I

For the Broke person who knows life's ups and downs come and go.

5. Computer Love- Zapp

For the Broke person looking for love through the Internet.

6. Better Dayz- 2Pac

For the Broke person looking for better dayz.

7. People Make The World Go Around- The Stylistics 

For the Broke person that still has faith in humanity.

8. Ruff Ryders Athem- DMX 

For the Broke person who needs motivation for the wack ass job they're tired of going to.

9. Through The Wire- Kanye

For the Broke person who turned tragedy to triumph.

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10. Keep Ya Head Up-2Pac

For the Broke person who needs to lift their damn head up.

11. Golden- Jill Scott

For the Broke person who is RECLAIMING THEIR TIME.

12. Respect- Aretha Franklin 

For the Broke person who keeps being tried.

13. Dayz of Our Livez- Bone Thugs-N-Harmony 

For the Broke person who's been strugglin', hustlin' and thuggin' it.

14. Waves- Joey Badass 

For the Broke person who has a dream stretching far out beyond the seas.

15. Never Scared- Bone Crusher

For the Broke person who ain't scared of a little struggle.

16. Far Away- Kindred the Family Soul

For the Broke person in need of a quick get away.

17. Just Got Paid- Johnny Kemp

For the Broke person who just got paid and they know damn wellllllllll they need to save their funds but they won't. #SUCHISLLIFE

18. C.R.E.A.M- Wu-Tang Clan 

For the Broke person past 22 years of hard strugglin.

19. Ghetto Child- The Spinners

For the Broke person who knows life ain't so easy being a ghetto child.

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20. 1st Of The Month- Bone Thugs-N-Harmony

For the Broke person who loves to collect on 1st of the month.

21. So Fresh, So Clean- OutKast 

For the Broke person who is broke ass hell but too bougie to look broken. #AMENTOTHAT

22. Elevators (Me & You) - OutKast

For the Broke person who will no longer have to pretend they're broke because their ass is moving on up. #JUSTMOVEONUPTOWARDSYOURDESTINATION

23. Yesterday- Mary Mary 

For the Broke person in need of spiritual guidance

24. Be Thankful For What You Got- William DeVaughn 

For the Broke person who needs to count their blessings.

25.  It Was A Good Day- Ice Cube 

For the Broke person who didn't have bill collectors blowing up their  phone today.

26. Everyday Struggle- The Notorious B.I.G

For the Broke person who's mental wellness has been impacted the struggle. #WEVEALLBEENTHERE

27.  Right On For The Darkness- Curtis Mayfield 

For the socially conscious Broke person.

28. Sky's The Limit- The Notorious B.I.G

For the Broke person who didn't have much...but kept reaching. #IFEELYOURPAIN

If the game shakes me or breaks me
I hope it makes me a better man
Take a better stand

29. A Change Is Gonna Come- Sam Cooke 

For the Broke person in need of a damn CHANGE!

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30. Across 110th Street- Bobby Womack 

For the Broke person who's been down so long, getting up barely crossed their mind. However, they knew there was a better way of life. #LORDTDONTGETMESTARTED

31. Survival of The Fittest- Mobb Deep 

For the Broke person living in the war outside.

32. Money Trees- Kendrick Lamar 

For the Broke person who knows that money doesn't grow anywhere near these damn trees.

33. What's Going On?- Marvin Gaye 

For the Broke person who can't answer the damn question about society because they are confused asf. #METOOMETOO

34. Don't Look Down - David Ryan Harris 


35. They Reminisce Over You- Pete Rock and C.L Smooth 

For the Broke person who is currently in a stage of grief.

36. Life- K-Ci and JoJo 

For the Broke person who has a family member doing time and hell, needs to listen to this song so their ass can stay out the pen too.

37.Around The Way Girl- LL Cool J 

For the Broke girl who is cool asf, from the hood and humble.

38. Humble- Kendrick Lamar 


39. Growing Pains- Ludacris 

For the Broke person who pockets hurts like hell, their stomach is calling for food and they damn sure ain't got much but HOPE. To be honest, that's all you need.

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40. We Gonna Make It- Jadakiss 


41. Where I'm From- Digable Planets 

For the Broke person who always feels the need to rep their set.

42. Lean On Me- Bill Withers 

For the Broke person who needs a shoulder to cry on but is too prideful.

43. Lifestyle- Rich Gang

For the Broke person who is busting their ass for someone like Mrs. Gladys.

44. Dreams & Nightmares- Meek Mill 

For the Broke person who finally has broke free.

45. Unbreakable- Alicia Keys 

For the Broke person who soul, spirit, and strength is flexible asf. #CANWESAYMATRIXBIH

46. One Nation Under A Groove- Funkadelic 

For the Broke person living so low YOU can't get under it, but their ass is too groovy to stay down.

47. The Most Beautifullest Thing In This World- Keith Murray 

For the Broke person who understands there's beauty in the mofo struggle.

48. Down 4 My N's- Snoop Dogg 

For the Broke person who is LOYAL AS HELL.

49. Life- Sly & The Family Stone 

For the Broke person who doesn't have to die before they live.

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50. Roc Boys- Jay-Z 

For the "Broke person" who also tends to be the neighborhood hustla.

51. Cut It- O.T Genasis

For the Broke person who rent keeps rising due to gentrification.

52. F*ck Up Some Commas- Future 

For the Broke person who blows their income tax, knowing damn welllllllllllll they need to take that fake ass mask off and save their money.

53. My Sh*t- A Boogie 

For the Broke person who takes pride in what's theirs.

54. Not An Easy Road- Buju Banton 

For the Broke person who understands the journey is not a straight path.

55. Wanna Be A Baller- Lil' Troy 

For the Broke person 35 and still trying to be somebody's damn rapper. #HEYKEEPPUSHING

56. California Dreamin'- Bobby Womack 

For the Broke person on the East Coast who thinks moving to the West Coast is going to solve all their worries.#IVEBEENTRYINGTOMOVESINCE10

57. Devotion- Earth, Wind & Fire 

For the Broke person who needs deliverance from the fruits of evil.

58. Ball Drop- Fabolous

For the Broke person who needs a fresh start even if it's not the New Year.

59. Same Ol' G- Ginuwine 

For the Broke person who made it out the struggle and now people are saying they've changed.

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60. Brother's Gonna Work It Out- Willie Hutch

For the Broke brotha who knows he will make it out one way or another.

Like this playlist? Download it on ITunes. And don't forget to comment your favorite soul touching song for Brokenness.

Young, Dumb & Broke: 12 Common Behaviors Of Broke People

So, if you weren't born with a silver spoon in your mouth, I'm sure you had to struggle in some way, shape or form. Whether it was busting down a sweet sugar sandwich or going without food for a few days (for those of us really struggling) you get the point.

The crazy thing about the struggle aside from the fact that we're struggling is the language and behavior that we use to express our experiences and broke ass life. Over my time in Brokeland I noticed 12 common behaviors of Broke people, some of which I've fell victim to.

1. Self-Isolation 

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Self-isolation is a b*tch! You cut yourself off from the world because you have no funds to enjoy the the world's greatest gems, or so you think. Instead of relying on your support systems and people to encourage you, you shut off from the world,  including social media. You don't want to see people eating out, having good times, or enjoying life even if they're broke too. That's because they know how to deal with their struggles, or wear broke better than you. But, hey there's no need for a comparison or you being a hater.

In reality your ass needs to get out of bed, find a hustle or a hobby and keep your mindset off of your present financial hurdles. Your mental wellness depends on you being occupied with positivity and positive thoughts.

2. Wishing for One Mo' Day

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That one mo' day is Friday and you wish your Deposit could come sooner because there's so many things you need to do as of yesterday.

3. Making money stretch
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If there's anything you know how to do, you know how to make a dollar stretch. Whether this means making $100.00 dollars work for the week or working off $60.00 you do what you can to survive.

If you can make this amount of money work by stretching, can you budget large amounts?

4. Spending your money on unnecessary sh*t

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This right here is a biggie. How you complaining about being broke, and you ain't doing right by your money (Craig voice). How you gon' sell bud and you smoke it, for those who didn't catch the connect. We've all been there, you got about $200.00 dollars in your pocket right now, you know damn well you don't need to buy that shirt, those cookies, or that pedicure. But you do so anyway, why? I guess, the answer lies in St. Louis "Do something that'll make me feel better".

5. Credit card misusage

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Uhmm do we really have to go down this road? A credit card is not your money, your mama's money, your daddy's money or anyone's money but the creditor.

Mess up if you want to and walk down the road of clean up and proving to folks you're a viable borrower.

6. Lack of financial literacy (you don't track your money)

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You don't know where your money is going or how much is being spent in any area for that matter. It could be a fear of seeing your numbers dwindle or getting real with what's in your wallet.

Managing your habits is an important part of getting back on track and in the game.

7. Stressing yourself out 
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Stressed out, so stressed ouuuuuuuuuuuuuuut. Being stressed doesn't pay the bills or put money in your pocket. It's easier said than done to stop stressing, but in reality you can't be happy and stressed. Choose to be happy.

8. Saying: "I need money to enjoy life" 

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You're wrong! Some of the best moments in life come from having nothing. But, let's be real I understand those who say money ain't everything probably don't have it. 

9. Looking at everything as expensive

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Broke Person: How much does this cost? 

Seller: Five dollars. 

Broke Person: Oh, hell nah that's expensive! 

No it's not! You're just broke. That's okay baby. It won't be forever though. 

10.  Thinking the lotto will save you...

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It's a dream indeed. As The Dream once said "The only way we getting outta here is if we hit the lotto".

11. Believing your ass will be Broke forever 

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I promise being broke is not a permanent state of being. I've seen people work all their lives and remain broke. I've seen people not understand what it means to have financial literacy and unfortunately have that illiteracy pass on to their children. Sometimes being broke is an mentality. Sometimes it's an experience of temporary struggle. Sometimes it's a reality that people die broke.
I may have been born into the struggle, you may have been born into the struggle. I'm so sure I will be flying out that mofo because I refuse to live counting on "one mo day" just so I can get by.

12. Needing to "Catch A Break"

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It seems when it rains, it pours and somehow it pours on you in ways you've never imagined. I once watched my sister give up her whole paycheck to pay for a car expense so she could get back and forth to work. A week before that she was smacked with an unexpected bill and a week before that she had another emergency. She broke down that day in a way I never seen her break down before. It hurt me to see her like that, because we grew up in some crazy ass circumstance of Black poverty I know others can relate to. To be children then adults taking on some of those same struggles in the cycle hurts like sh*t. She couldn't catch a break.

That's not to say her break isn't coming. But her peace of mind during that time is what was important to me.

These 12 common behaviors may have given you some good laughs, or reflections of your tough times. However, as much as it is funny some of this sh*t is not a joke or laughing matter. In fact, some of the these things are detrimental to our well being and impact the way we move, interact and feel about ourselves on a daily basis. Being broke is real, it's humbling, it builds character, and strength, it also builds habits that can be destructive to our mental wellness and well being.

Being Broke ain't easy and being dead over stress doesn't make it any better. With that said, I encourage those in financial binds to take the time to read some of these inspirational posts below and contact local agencies in their community who can help assist them with rebuilding their financial structure, if you so choose. Also, below I have provided some extremely helpful financial apps to help assist folks looking for a quick start on the right track. Mint is one of my favorite go to apps for finance.

I encourage those who are living in Brokeland to know that they are still worthy of any dream they may have or goal they are reaching to obtain.

Great Reads on Being Broke

  1. 1 .5 Things Millennials Need To Understand About Money In 2017
  2. 2. How to Budget When You’re Broke
  3. 3. 10 Ways Anyone Can Save Money in College

Great Reads on Being Broke and Black:

  1. 1. Black And Broke In America: Lessons From Our Grandmothers
  2. 2. Black And Broke In America: A Talk With Yourself
  3. 3. Think and Grow Chick
  4. 4. 16 Black Personal Finance Educators & Experts
Great Apps to Track Your Finances:

Download The Ultimate Game For Blackness: 'For The Culture'


Do you enjoying playing games like 'Heads-Up', 'CatchPhrase' and 'Charades'? Ever wish you could have a similar game that speaks to Black culture with game content you can relate to? Look no further.

'For The Culture' is a mobile app created by Teddy Phillips the Founder and Developer of Ark Creative Company and Designer Cameron White. The Ark Creative's motto is "to utilize technology to enrich our culture with products that educate,empower, and entertain."
The brothas in this company are doing just that!

Seeing a lack of representation in gaming culture, Phillips developed 'For The Culture'
placing our love for Black Culture, history and arts in one interactive game. 'For The Culture' is the first game to be a part of Ark Creative Company collective. Download the free app on ITunes and Google Play for your next Black people meet session.

Be sure to follow @forthecultureapp on Instagram and support the Ark Creative Company.

Why It's Perfectly Fine To Root For Black Excellence

Aww yassssssssssssssssssssssssssssss Issa. I have an Issa Rae obsession and I can't deny it. That's because I want a career in which I can do BLACK ASS SH*T FOR BLACK ASS PEOPLE, and sis is doing it. Sis, unapologetically tells stories about Black Bodies and most importantly she's a free spirit as a Black woman not afraid to do BLACK ASS SH*T. She is a NOT A TREND IN POP CULTURE, SHE'S A MONUMENT AND DESERVES TO BE TREATED AS SUCH. 

So, when sis in multiple interviews at the Emmy's made it clear, she was ROOTING FOR BLACK PEOPLE. I felt my spirit go:

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It's simple because often such in White predominate spaces Black folks and their talent are over looked. Historically we know this, which is why in 2016 #OSCARSOWHITE brought to light the topic of diversity in Hollywood. When we talk about the EMMY'S and diversity, the conversation is no different.

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So many people have reacted crazy to Issa's statement. Look at the conversation taking place under E! Entertainment News Interview With Issa At The 2017 Emmy's:


People are sooooo butt hurt to hear the truth, they fall victim to understanding why Issa made the statement in the first place.


  1. 1. There's no need for anyone to say "I'm rooting for everybody White", because the whole system was created by your ancestors to rule for you. In fact, when we watch and understand history, we know that misrepresentation and diversity issues even in Hollywood exist. The first Black actor to win an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie was Cicely Tyson in 1974 for her work in 'The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman'. The first Emmy was awarded in 1949. Do you remember the time? Problematic much.

  1. 2. Black folks wouldn't need to separate themselves, anytime, anywhere if we weren't separated thanks to Anglo-Saxon superiority. Let me know when your representation looks like this: 
Photo: MIC

  1. 3. Say it loud! I'M BLACK AND I'M PROUD. That's exactly what Issa was doing, being proud of her Blackness and celebrating  BLACKASSNESS. 

Like her, I will continue to be celebrating and rooting for everybody Black. There's just something about celebrating a culture and a group of people who were told for centuries, what we were and who we are was less that good enough. It's for the culture. But, most importantly, its for us to see that we are extraordinary. 

I say all this to say, did y'all see the Black beauties serving? I thought I was looking at Black gold dust sprinkled everywhere. 

Oh, and Donald Glover was serving 1971 'Super Fly' vibes, I can dig it! Congratulations King. Glover, is truly one of the most talented people of his time! 


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You heard it here first!

20 Something Rants: I Need To Reset My Life

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Sometimes, I need to remind myself of who I am:

She's got pimples on her face, body acne, and a rotating tooth.

She never got braces, and would probably be an adult getting her smile corrected. She can only dream for her perfect smile.

Sometimes she doesn't want to get out of bed, other times she prefers to get away.

She enjoys being around people as much as she enjoys being alone. At times she's never felt more comfortable in her own company.

She loves old ass Black cult films, but hates Blaxpolatation ones. Oddly enough, her favorite singer Bobby Womack contributed to one of them.

She's sensitive as hell and does not like to be outcasted in any way, shape or form. When she feels outed for, she runs into her shell.

She will listen to the same song over and over again 50Xs in a row and NEVER GET TIEDD.

She's great at giving other's advice but never has enough faith to believe in herself or her journey.

At times she can be insecure.

At times she can hold grudges like no tomorrow and refuse to let go of the past.

In the same breathe, she will wonder: "what's holding her back from reaching her full potential"?

She can emotionally invest herself in sh*t that makes no sense for her well being even subconsciously.

She can be so forgiving of people.

At times she is too pessimistic and never seems to have faith in all she can achieve.  She's can be dependent on validation, she can hide pain well, or she can talk about pain so much that she blocks her opportunity to heal.

And it is because of these same reasons, she needs to reset her life.

Last year, I wrote an article titled 21 Unapologetic Things I Will Live By for The Rest of My 20s. In my 22nd year of life I can say, honestly, that I failed to abide by them.

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This is not to say that I can't achieve to live unapologetically by these things each day. But, moreso that they serve as goals I would like to achieve not only throughout my 20's but the remainder of my life.

I'm starting to notice that I am becoming complacent in my emotions. I am comparing my journey too much to other people and I'm losing sleep by being lost in my thoughts.

This is unhealthy.

My mental health is becoming challenged and it's taking a toll on my body and its functions.

So, when I say I need a reset, it is not a joke or a statement of me trying to disregard my troubles. It's a reality of me honestly, needing to step back and for the next 15 weeks in 2017  FIND MY SANITY.

I can't keep chasing the sunrise without have the emotional, physical and mental energy to press forward.

My next step of womanhood depends on it.

I encourage all others who may feel a little woozy in their current life and need to refocus to do the same. Sometimes we need to reset in order to obtain better results.