Taking care of me is something that I had forgotten how to do. I am a wife and mother and I’m extremely proud to hold those titles. However, I was someone before I became Mrs. Negra With Tumbao and Mami With Tumbao. I was jazzy and extravagant. I took time to enjoy life and to be frank- I did what the fuck I wanted to do, when I wanted to do it. Needless to say, that changed with the birth of my daughter. I felt that I had to sacrifice everything that I loved to make sure that she was ok. Every moment was dedicated to her being intelligent with a beautiful spirit- and she is. I have also felt in order to be a good wife that I should give up certain parts of myself. This was NOT at my husband’s request. I watched my mami take care of my younger sister, my dad and I. She put her dreams aside until we were old enough to go to school. She nurtured and loved us. Although my parents were married and both played integral parts in our development, my mami shaped us into the women that we are today.
I came across a wonderful video with Jada Pinkett-Smith, Willow Smith and Jada’s mother. I watched it and maaaan, it spoke to me. I was in tears. Black women are programmed to give up who they are when they become mothers and wives. Yes- PROGRAMMED…We hear everyday that we have to “sacrifice” our dreams and our desires in order to cultivate those of the people whom we love. How can we cultivate others if we never see our own goals through? Why shouldn’t we be allowed to take care of ourselves? We are taught that we have to serve others before we serve ourselves. Literally and figuratively. Before somebody says it, I’m not talking about eating the last chicken wing or cucharita de arroz before your kids. I am speaking about doing what makes us happy. We are taught that our desires can’t happily coexist with nurturing and loving our families. I have experienced things in my life that many will not and have not but my parents ensured that my sister and I did. I am grateful for that.
I do what I love. I write but this woman, who I had buried 14 years ago, was dying to make a comeback. Earlier this year I cut my hair to a style that suits my personality. It gave me the light to restart this fire. I had my hair braided and treated myself to a deluxe pedicure and manicure. All done by phenomenal young sisters. I will tag them on Instagram so be sure to check them out. It had been almost 15 years since I’ve worn nails!! What the hell? They are decadent and jazzy and baby- I AM BACK!! It might seem small to many but THIS is what I needed to get back to the old me. This is what makes me happy.
I’m still kicking asses and taking names just doing it in my fly ass skin! If you are a mother, wife, caregiver, sister or etc., make no excuses when you do the things that make YOU happy. Your loved ones will love you more for it and they are getting a complete woman. Take a moment to shut everybody out and do something for yourself. We can’t save the world without saving ourselves first. I love you.