A Simple Guide on How to Become an Unforgettable Bitch

11:01 PM missusmonroe 0 Comments

Say it with me, you're a phenomenal bih. Go ahead, say that shit.

#1. Stop the chasing
     - I'm not saying aspire niggas to chase you, but that that reality is actually inevitable when you stop chasing people.

#2. Insecurity? Dead it.
Images by Sharimar Cruz, @sycroix
#3. Fears? Shed it.
     - it's easy to say but a quick way to start is to stop thinking so much and just start doing. It's hard to be fearful when you're too busy doing the shit you would be fearfully thinking about.

#4. Fake that shit 'til you make that shit

#5. Stop claiming everybody.
       - for the love of God.
#6. Focus on your damn self.
     - Creatively, your career aspirations, your health and well-being. Everything about you deserves your full attention. Stop making yourself so accessible. As in, when he says to pull up on him, close the thread my good sister.

#7. Come to terms with your sexual being.
     - and whatever the hell that means for you. Not everybody is going to be a vixen, grow into what you are. Being yourself and 110% confident in whomever that is, is so intoxicating and enthralling and nobody can be that but, guess who, you. It is okay to be yourself. Which brings me to my next point,

#8. Don't let anybody tell you who you are.

#9. Show before you tell.
     - it's self-explanatory but I might need to say it again for you all to hear me, show before you tell.
#10. Mind your business.

#11. Stop making exceptions and calling it compromise.
     - I just know somebody's triggered

#12. With everything you do, demand respect.
     - I very much so believe if you're a "hoe" then be that shit. Be the very best hoe anybody's ever seen. And never let whatever title someone puts on you, or that you self-proclaim, be the reason why you're accepting of anything and of any way these wayward ass people want to treat you.
#13. In reality, there's nothing wrong with a little cockiness.

#14. Depending on the opinions of others will be your demise.

#15. Trust yourself.
    - that you indeed know what's best for you.

You deserve. Period.

xxoo missusmonroe

P.S. These photos were from a late 90s-early 00s themed dancehall party and seeing as though I've always wanted to be someones' 90s video vixen, here we are. This is definitely one of my favorite outfit combinations to date.

Thank you @sycroix for these amazing shots.


'Is It By Force?' - Nigerian Proverb

10:39 PM missusmonroe 0 Comments

The number one question I've gotten about this trip was, omggg "how was your experience!?" which I think is all too broad a question to be quite honest. There were so many elements of Tulum, Mexico, of the people and the developments, of the retreat and the group sessions, and then of just the experience in all and of the purpose it was supposed to serve within myself, mental space, and physical being. It'd do everything and everyone a disservice to.

There was a quote one of the women from the retreat said that I think resonated with us all. "As Black Women we have to work 10 times as hard in life. And then 10 times as hard with self-care." So sometimes the time calls to just drop all your shit and get away.
I've said this once and I'll say it again, freeing yourself is a process. Honestly consider the things in your life that came without work and how many of those things are still around. Even the strongest go through healing, it's such a false narrative and perception that healing is for weak people. "Oh she's going through something again, she has to heal past it." Healing is not just for the sick, it is not for the weak or weak-hearted. Literally, do you understand how strong you have to be both mentally and physically to overcome both mental and physical battles? It takes so much reflection and so much of going to places within you do not want to tread.

Finding space in my mind to fully heal is something I've been at a wits end about that I did not even realize until this very moment. I want to reflect through so many things but it's almost like sometimes my mind goes blank and I'm at a loss of where to even begin. I'm healing from things that haven't even happened yet. I'm on the move. My mind is loud but silent at the same time and I can get tired of the many phases of this process. It doesn't come easy and it doesn't end in something as simple as six months or a year. It's like the fall to the concrete from your bike. It's the fresh, wide open wound. It's the burn of the alcohol to exposed skin. It's the cringe of water grazing a burn. It's reliving pain while reliving rebirth.

I'm so grateful for these words. Words similar to these attacked me during our free-writing journaling sessions every day in Tulum. Before doing anything in the day, we broke bread and we wrote whatever came to mind, no rules, 15 minutes, whatever's on your heart and in your mind.

We had sessions talking about what it was being a black woman in the workplace. We mapped our lives, from inception to where we wanted to be and listed significant events in our lives that would somehow connect to our "it". We laughed, explored town and danced with locals, we cried, climbed through ruins and swam in underwater caves. We shaku'd, we sang Jordin Sparks, we took mad photos, we were magical. We were black as fuck. And we were unforgiving and unforgettable.

Reflecting, there's so much I want to do as a black woman and for the black woman. Participating in gatherings of the mind such as She Gets Away, a retreat for millennial Black Women created by us, is just one of the ways I want to be impactful. It's not always literally creating the space yourself, sometimes it's bring the seat to the table, sometimes it's supporting your sister in her efforts to conjur, sometimes it's merely offering an opinion on how to foster a better experience from an audience point of view. There are so many ways, not everybody has to drive the boat. Abeg. Is it by force?

In closing I'll leave you with a phrase I conjured up that I seem to be saying a lot as of late.
Find yourself a therapist, then come find me.

xxoo missusmonroe


The Dreamers

11:34 PM missusmonroe 0 Comments

4,000 people. 4,000 is the amount they sold-out on at Dreamville and the predicted amount they called would be present; this amount in itself gave me anxiety.

Last September when the original ticket purchasers were set to attend Dreamville Festival, a For Us By Us initiative curated by my baby father Jermaine Lamar Cole, it was canceled due to the crazy hurricane brewing on the South East. Thankfully enough it was rescheduled but I thoroughly believe in the rescheduling and wahala surrounding the storm, free advertising really, more attention to the festival was generated and prompted plethora of people to purchase for the reschedule date. As if they didn’t hear about the festival until all of the commotion, copy? Thus, April comes around and I hear it shall be 4,000 of us… well first I’m just concerned about how I was getting there *cue the drama!*
I was going through too much shit at the beginning of this year to be concerned about much other than what was literally going on right in front of me, including preparing for many festivities I’d already planned to take part in (Dreamville, She Gets Away, Broccoli City fest and etc.) I’d mentally planned the best times to purchase flights and organize the shit but bottom line is I didn’t get my life together until right around the time I was “supposed” to be confirming many, many, many of things. I missed the window of getting reasonable flights to Raleigh and I would be damned if I was going to spend over $300 for a one way flight that is usually less than a hundred. So, it was time to finesse.

The last time I took a bus to North Carolina was the first time I ever visited Greensboro and it was Junior year of college, I took Mariah in a tow and we jetted, wheeled, I want to say something like 11-12 hours away and it was not something I wanted to relive. Spending more time commuting than being where you commute? Not my life. However, it is apparently my life because here I wasyet again. I booked a bus ticket during the night so I could essentially wake up and be in Raleigh. Well. I missed the bus. Spoiler alert.

Tears of frustration and curses ensued as my stubborn ass asshole of an Uber driver caused my trip to go very left, very expeditiously. I take responsibility for the fact that I was already late but I cannot take on the fact that the train delays are getting ridiculous at this point and as are the egos of these Uber drivers. I really didn't know what to do as I was trying to think as quickly as possible. I knew the trains had been done for the night, especially traveling that far.. book another bus?
As I continued to curse out loud, the air filled with "are you kidding me"s the inters of net told me that other than the 10 PM bus I just missed literally by minutes, if the driver hadn't spent 8+ minutes arguing with me and had just denied my trip outright then I wouldn't have been in that mess, there was one more bus for the night. Leaving in exactly half an hour. All the way uptown... Are you kidding me.

After playing patty-cacke for the next few minutes, I immediately ordered another Uber, I attempted to secure the ticket only to be told it was sold out are you fucking kidding me, I canceled the ride, I refreshed the website and there, magically, was a seat... The world was playing a nasty game with me and I was not entertained. So now I order another car but see, after having almost as much difficulty finding it's pick-up location as with the first car, I finally get in in an actual mess, secure the bus ticket, and express how quickly we must humanly possible move. But I knew the reality. My new and sincerely understanding driver innocently asked if it were possible for the bus to wait for me? For 5.. 10.. maybe 15 minutes? I let out a sad and incredibly frustrated groan because I could not miss this but too. But he'd made it clear without making it clear we were not going to arrive at 10:30.

I really didn't know what to do, I could not miss this festival.. I just could not it didn't make sense to anymore. I'd come so far. I just started saying aloud Lord please allow this bus to be delayed. Please make this bus delayed... I was jolted out of my words when the driver slammed on his breaks as we rolled into more traffic. I let out another frustrated groan, I could not do this honestly. Suddenly I remembered how Amtrak has a trip updating system where you can track the train and vaguely remembered Greyhound had something of a similar stature. Google soon confirmed this and I quickly scrolled down to what I was 98% sure was my bus cause to be honest the shit was hella confusing. There was an asterik next to the time and upon closer inspection, it said an exact time could not be given at the moment.
Are you. Actually. Kidding. Me!

I slammed my phone down. That was that. I just sat back in the Uber at this point cause it just felt over. Okay then I refreshed the page on my phone because there had to be an answer, how could one be so in-between!
Refresh. I scrolled down again, the buses prior to this last one for the entire night had been stalled somehow. 10:30... Delayed.
I basically choked on my sigh cause when I tell you I'm sure I had been holding my breath for about 22 minutes.
The events that ensued happened relatively quickly, my driver was ecstatic and he actually got me there earlier than we'd predicted. I ran, almost skipped, to the Port of Authority and happily got in line, everyone else was not as happy though. It appeared that the earlier buses were still waiting on their delayed bus but hey, I was here. I was getting to Raleigh.

So I wasn't getting to Raleigh. We waited for nearly two hours until someone told us that "they didn't have a driver and did not know if one was coming.. but we could just wait until who knows when or get a refund" ... I was actually stunned. I asked if this trip was going to be fulfilled, were they going to get a driver? The ever so pleasant lady responded that she couldn't confirm nor deny. At this point my life was to put it simply, a joke. 
In the next few moments people started going crazy: attitudes flared, people scurried off to find more information, find their refunds, find their sanity. Again I was not sure what to do. Soon after overhearing surrounding conversations I quickly realized I was not the only one whose destination was Dreamville. Who just wakes up and says I want to take an 11 hour bus to Raleigh of all places anyway? It was 4 others and myself, well there were 3 others a little ways away as well, but the core of us soon formed a small tribe and were all asking the question of what the hell was going on?
I pulled out my phone and said I was booking this damn plane ticket, I just could not deal. This day had been too anxiety ridden, from work to rushing off home to rush out and try and catch two buses? Response from the group was that I should just wait for more information, at this point though if a driver were to come right at that moment which wasn't going to happen, we wouldn't get to Raleigh until about noon, 1 PM... the festivities literally began at noon. Although I'd never planned to get there that early, I completely despise that feeling of missing out on something because of something you could have prevented; as in you gave yourself the lack of options, you yourself didn't decide to come later.

I booked the flight. AND I FELT GREAT. My relief must have been contagious because I ended up convincing everyone else and we literally had an entire crew actually headed to the Ville.

I never did see the crew again. After our night out trying to waste time before our flights, getting our refunds then pizza, we went separately in smaller groups to repack and off to the airport. So if I were to go into detail about everything of the festival we'd be here forever, but all in all the experience was a good one. Even though the trauma of getting there was bitter comedy in the end, I completely could've done without it and it might not have left me feeling like I was missing something from the festival in the end. I was also looking for people I was supposed to meet there literally the entire day, the irritating part was it was because there was literally no service. You couldn't communicate with anyone, it was crazy, as in you could essentially lose someone standing right next to you and just pray to bump into them at some point before it got dark. 

The brightest side about the day was that my outfit actually came together in a timely manner, as in I wasn't ordering things last minute and going crazy trying to finesse because of shipping delays. The bodysuit you see here is actually the slingshot that was supposed to come for Broccoli City Fest last year, HAH, and I snagged these bottoms from Beacon's because I simply refused to order something and it didn't look right. I wasn't sure if these pants would make any sense with the slingshot but I knew I wanted a baggier bottom look and these pants were literally something like a size 20 I don't even know. Very large. 
It wasn't until the nth minute that I packed this mesh top I bought for Bali because I knew the weather was going to be spotty and truly, I didn't feel like being the girl doing the most when it's not even blazing out and might rain. It didn't make sense. So I wanted something of a cover up without covering up.. I just happened to look across my messy ass apartment, let's talk about my de-compartmentalizing pls, and my eyes just landed on the top, I walked over and stuffed it into my bag and that was really that on the thought process.

Captured by coulstyle

Captured by coulstyle

A fashion photographer captured me while searching for my homies and I always find it so interesting what others have to say about my fits after analyzing it; it's so insightful when really I just wanted a slingshot lmao and I wanted baggy bottoms to show off the thong because I am Manny Santos, and I have yet to fully pull off a thong exposed look yet to date so I will continue trying, the mesh top came randomly because of weather reasons, and the red hair was clearly a phase I'm currently in. That's as deep as it went, a little slut with a sprinkle of classy per usual. It just always comes in different forms and always looks so good. 

I'm grateful for all the festival goers who understand festival looks and go off of the fest vibe! It's really a thing. It's this nonjudgmental energy, fun, and creative. I met some amazing women who I truly just attracted because I do believe you are who you attract and I always just bump into these welcoming, light-hearted people and I'm forever grateful for that. One thing I can say about Dreamville that I noticed is that it really brought together a tribe of like-spirited people. The Dreamers. It was an extremely welcoming energy that filled that park. And with all of my strife leading up to, it made so much sense when I arrived. It made sense, the people I met leading up to as well while immersed. It was so much of a mess yet it truly made sense.

But this fit though!?

xxoo missusmonroe



8:37 PM missusmonroe 0 Comments

Unpopular opinion: Keeping busy while you’re going through something does NOT help you “get over” that thing. It only puts time on the clock. It only delays the time you’re once again confronted with it. Strife, mental health, HEARTache.. you can keep running but once it’s in your path again ALL the emotions you thought you could outsmart will come back more paralyzing than ever. You have to come face to face with all your demons one day and running away from it.

Shoutout to everyone who’s taking L’s silently, battling with whatever demons and bouncing back to their shit even quieter. who don’t take everything to social media but also don’t paint this false reality of life cause shit is hard. I see y’all..but I don’t see y’all lmao. God’s got us, if you need to hear that you’ll be okay, you’ll be more than just okay. keep going, it never feels like it but you’re almost there.

I've been quiet again, getting life in a row and trying not to stress on what may not mean anything tomorrow, in a constant need for balance, and protecting my time/being even more intentional with it because I've really affirmed my time is me and how I place value to myself. I don't play with it. I've also been attempting to be conscious of being a good human being to others.. not that I'm ever intentionally malicious but I'm usually a very much so an It is what it is kinda shorty; yet as I've been embarking in new relationships I've been trying to perfect my communication mechanisms. So actually caring from time to time. This of course means accountability and a lot of reflection. It's been a lot but nothing at the same time because there's just so much further to delve into. 

You all know I'm set to be traveling and just busy this year #bookednbusy, there's a lot I want to internalize and experience while also create and have acted upon me. I'm trying to make it a point to keep this space up to date and up to pace with my life but y'all.. it's so hard lol. Between this and youtube.. and actually wanting to speak of importance, not just useless commentary and blase/common phrases and opinions. It takes time, it takes creativity, it takes intention and understanding. Then to curate my pictures in the way I'm still working on them to look like? Be patient with me ha, forreal. Especially in this world where everything is fast "content"? I'm not apart of those fast-"food" creators okay, but y'all already know this!

Enjoy some captures from @jakeandcamera and ask yourself, when was the last time you checked-in? 

xxoo missusmonroe