Ella,

How do I feel about blogging?  I don’t know I’ve never done it, but it looks fun! 
I would talk about my day, my thoughts, the flowers, motherhood, relationships, depression and struggle. I’m all over the place Ella but I just have so much inside me.



I’ve followed you for a few months now and I love the fact that your on line magazine expresses you. Not just you, also things I think about and things I want to do. I would love if you could help me find who I am and what my purpose is. But I want to blog about my journey so that it may help another who may be going through similar situations.

I choose you because you are very busy but you seem to love your readers.  I never in a million years thought you’d respond to my questions.  Your personal interest in people .. I love that about you, it’s how I feel deep inside like fire inside of me, overwhelming passion, excitement of a journey.  But first I want to understand what this overwhelming passion inside me is.

Is this something you think you would or have time to help me with?
Sincerely,
Carla

Dear Carla,

        You’ve inspired me to aspire. Funny thing is, what I aspire to do is inspire. I assure you I am as honored to speak with you as you are shocked to know I actually respond to people. Before we begin, though… I want to warn you, I speak very firmly and clearly. Some take this as a sign of hubris or conceit, but really it’s because I’ve taken the time to think before I responded to you –you know that personally, since I’ve tried to keep you posted. I do love my readers. What I feel for you more though, is respect. I don’t just write to write bullsh*t. Here, I have the opportunity to help you. That’s amazing to me. I take that seriously & need to take the time to really think about the message I give you… because, if I do my job, you’ll listen. As you read, please note I’ve taken the time to understand how I feel about what you asked and, in my response, I mean every word. I encourage you to sit with your thoughts and listen to yourself as well.  Read along & you’ll see that you already know what to do.
        What I’m giving you are methods of thinking/working/moving in this world that may help you free your truest self and help you find that peace, happiness and fulfillment you’re looking for. It may not be easy. It’s not going to be fast, but if you maintain a strong mind and a stronger will, I’m sure you’ll do everything you privately dream to. Before we begin, thank you. For… the literal compliments as well as your having faith enough in me to ask me. I am honored. I love to help people, but I refuse to help those who don’t want to be helped & I know I’m not a psychologist (changed my major ASAP freshman year because I realized I have my own issues & people with emotional issues don’t need doctors, they need love), so it’s very hard for me to write these. I told you I quit doing “Ask Ella” a year ago, but since you’ve reached out to me, it warms my heart that you want something so beautiful. & there was such honesty in your email that I couldn’t just bullsh*t a post (as if I ever would dare be so phony and careless).  So here we go!  I’ve come up with three pieces of advice for you.


#1 Look in the Mirror
      I can’t help you find yourself because you already have you. It took me 23 years to find myself. It’d be a lie for me to say I can help find you, whom I met on Instagram. No disrespect, but I don’t know you. No one knows you more than you know yourself. What might help, though, is family. Knowing your roots; what’s made you and what grew you. I found myself a little before Christmas last year, when I tattooed “Marjorie Thousand by Francia Fung” on my arm.  I am Marjorie. My mother is Francia. I am her daughter and everything that goes along with that. I am everything she raised me to be. That is who I am.  A few weeks before I got that tattoo, I had cried myself to sleep and woke myself up to the same because I had realized it was time to let go of “friends” I could no longer associate myself with. I was on the phone with CJ when my mother walked in my room, looked in my red eyes and asked me what’s wrong. She came in as my mother –hot coffee in hand, knowing something was wrong with her baby –and left as my friend. My mother is the only person who cares for me like that. I mean like that. She’d give her life. And has. That was the first time I told a friend I had to go, so that I could sit with my mom, my first and truest friend, to ask for her advice. My mother was real with me, as she always has been. She told me, like a 58-year-old, 5-foot-nothin, Dominican Jay-Z, that no one is built like me. & that I design myself. (My mom’s the man.) I’m here to tell you that so do you.

         I know this might sound crazy, but I often stand in front of the mirror just to look myself in the eyes. I try to understand what I’m feeling. What I’m saying to myself in silence. There must be a reason I have these thoughts no one else can hear. I see myself. I take note to observe myself the way others might see me. You have to learn to love exactly what is in that mirror because that is you. You have to look yourself in the eyes because you need to learn to be honest with yourself. Don’t fear yourself. Speak to yourself. Tell yourself how you’re feeling and refuse to look away. Don’t back down. Don’t fear who you are. Don’t be your own enemy. Look at yourself the way others should see you. Smile at your “flaws,” for they make you who you are. If you want to speak to people, you have to see yourself how they will. Treat yourself how they will. You set precedence. People only treat you the way you treat yourself. & if you can’t stand/respect/trust/value/love you, why should anyone else? Eventually, you’ll be able to look in the mirror and smile and glow and see the beauty emanating from within.  That beauty is your soul. & when you begin to understand the beauty of your soul, you’ll see it in other people & they will see it in you. We are all soul mates. It’s crazy to me that I’m the same person I was years ago, but when I used to look in the mirror, I despised every single bit of me. We can’t do that. In order to love the world, you’ve got to start within. You are the world.  Secretly, we’re all the same. Supposedly made in the image of The One. How can we be imperfect? How can we be different?

       I can’t tell you what your passion is because you are the only one who feels it. So if you are the one who holds it, you need to take some time to speak with yourself. Understand who you are. Like any other subject, you have to understand the history of it. What happened? When did it happen? Why did it happen? What happened afterwards? How has that led up to today? You need to fully understand what makes you you. 
        Writing helped me understand myself. I take writing seriously because… it’s what I love to do. I want to caution you against writing simply because “Ella” does it.  I do it because I’ve been writing exactly like this since I was 6 years old. I just knew less words and made more spelling mistakes. Writing is what I do. Whatever you end up blogging/doing, make sure it’s what you do that expresses you. Writing though, is helpful for anyone, I’d argue. Sometimes, you need a written reminder. What happened? I wrote that shit down. I can literally tell you what was going through my mind a year ago. Take the time to be your own best friend. Listen to your own story, first. Because, when you do begin writing, remember that you are your audience. Your readers will read your work because of you –because you are like them. The things you wished someone would have said to you, say to them. Treat them like your children, but understand they are individuals. Guide them in the manner you wish you could have been guided. Whatever was missing for you, give them. For example, I didn’t start speaking to my mother, in depth, until I was 22 (two years ago). I couldn’t ask her questions I wish I could have. Frankly, I didn’t like her. She knows it. Same with my sister. Didn’t like her either. I only respected my brother and he was like an overprotective dad. I couldn’t tell him nothing but how many points I scored in the game that day. I wanted someone to reach out to for the tough questions. Someone who wouldn’t judge me, but would be honest. Someone whose actions and character I respected who was willing to speak to me as an equal. Hopefully, that is what I can be for you.


#2 Get A Life

I know that sounds rude, but you’ll get it. Get it!? 😉 
  Here’s the truth: Unfortunately, I can’t babysit you, but I can cheer you on all the way. I wake up everyday at 5am to feed Duchess. Sometimes she lets me rock & enjoy my rest until 6. I try to give her time digest her food so she can go before I leave the house at 8. From 5:30-6, I cool out, lay in bed and hug & kiss my puppy since I have long work-days & she’s got to get as much love & attention as I can give. She’s young & this time is important for us. At 6am, I make my coffee & clean if I have to. 6:30am I read a passage from the Good Book. 7am, I get in the shower & start getting ready for work.  I catch the 8:12am bus to the train. My train ride to work is about an hour long. From 9:30-7pm, Monday-Friday, I bust my ass for a paycheck. I do sit at a computer all day, but I do have shit to do (I even eat lunch at my desk, it’s so busy). I have plenty responsibility because I’ve asked for it. I’m not lazy. I’m pretty f*ckin brilliant and entry-level is where you prove yourself. When I don’t have work to do, I create it. I work in advance so that I can get ahead. 

     Regardless of the fact that I want this magazine to blow so I can quit, I enjoy my day job. I do it the best it’s been done, I’ve been told. While I’m on their time, I invest myself 1000%, as I do in everything I take on. Just because I have the online magazine (and want it to be my life) doesn’t mean I half-ass everything else. I’m a hard worker. All day. I commit myself to everything I do –even in raising my puppy. Life is serious to me. After my hour train ride, I get home at about 8pm & feed Duchess and we hug & kiss a little more. Then I make dinner & pack my lunch for the next day. I do the dishes. Take a shower, get ready for bed & by about 10pm, I’m done with my duties. From 10-11, I do what makes me happy. At 11pm, I read another passage from The Book. I try to be in bed by 12am because, 5am is around the corner. On Saturdays, I try to schedule something for the magazine, whether it’s an interview, an event or simply truly living my mantra and doing #JustWhatWeWannaDo. Sometimes, that means I sit in the house and kiss Duchess. Sometimes that means go to Tiffany’s and look at diamonds. On Sundays, I rest. Please note I haven’t even touched on my personal life. I need time to play and enjoy myself. I’m also not one of those angry girls who can’t find a man. I date. And very well. I just keep my business to myself. (When I’m ready to talk about that… I will.) By telling you all of this, I hope  you understand that, yes, I am busy. I am chasing my dreams and I have to commit myself to them completely. I never stop. I’m fully invested. This magazine is my heart, and the only thing I love more is my life –I’m blessed to have a plan to make them go hand-in-hand. But it’s all still in the works, so, no, I don’t have much free time. If I can mentor you in the least bit, I hope it’s in my leading by example. I am just like you. I don’t have all the answers. I’m still working my ass off on this Earth. It ain’t heaven just yet. I can’t commit myself to do anything for any person constantly –especially if that person isn’t me. 

       I’ve finally understood the value of myself. I need to help myself. You don’t need all the help you think you do. You simply need to have more faith in what lies inside of you. While we are here to support other people, I believe that we should lead more by example. I can’t agree to help you because that would mean it’s okay for you to take away from your time and your life, too. I don’t want you to do that. Some call me selfish for feeling that way, but I think it’s better than letting people down. By declining a proposed “mentor-ship” of sorts, I hope to free you. You need to take control of your own life –that’s the only way to live it fully. No one can live for you. If you’re going to figure out what your life means, you’ve got to take a hold of it and claim ownership of your existence. Now. Only when you’ve claimed your life in its entirety, can you assemble the pieces and understand the “purpose” you’re looking for. If you keep giving people pieces of your puzzle, you’ll never have the full picture.

#3 Just F*ckin Do It. 
       You already know what you wanna do. “I want to blog about my journey so that it may help another who may be going through the similar situation,” said you. The next step is to just do it. Nowadays, everyone is so corporate, they’re going to tell you some dumb sh*t you already know –Get a website. Start writing. If you want details on “How to Blog,” I’m not the one for that; Google is. I believe that all that sh*t is phony to the core –no one can tell you how to write about your life or how to help others. There isn’t a method or recipe for truth other than to follow your heart and do the best you can to remain positive. If documenting your journey is how you best see fit, then just do it. The medium you should use is what makes you most comfortable. For example, painters paint *shrugs*.

      You don’t need permission. Whatever site you wanna use, use it.  (I use Blogger.com. You can also use WordPress.com, but if you have specific questions, Google has the most answers.) Whatever you wanna say, say it. However you wanna promote, promote it. Along the way, opportunities arise and it’s on you to look out for them. Everyone likes the “networking” idea,  but I prefer to connect with people. If your writing is supposed to be about helping people, then when someone needs help, you should help. Perhaps you’ll say, “Hey, this is my site, you should check it out when you have free time.” It’s most beneficial to have a business card to go along with it, because people don’t remember anything unless they really want to. On the business end of it, I say, continue to challenge yourself & never quit. Yes, I believe it is that simple. Because those who love you truly will continue to do so. & supporters are supporters. It doesn’t sound to me like you’re here for the money, so if/when financials become a factor, remember what you’re really here for. If you’re wondering how to trick/lure/entice readers into finding and reading your blog, that’s not my specialty. You can team up with a PR/Marketing Group & they’ll help you with that. I like natural readership. Everybody who reads me, reads me because they read me. I truly don’t give a f*ck enough to concern myself with who’s clicking where. I write. I live. I love. That’s all I care about. Whoever doesn’t like what I do can some find some other self-interested, phony site to entertain themselves with. If it’s blogging that your heart desires, do it. First though, you need to approach this as you would any other hobby/task/activity/game –you need to understand what it is first. Blogging is the act of constantly telling people what you do. Blogger is a website. Blogger.com, to be exact. To help people on their journey is much different from “blogging”.

     If it’s a journey you’re detailing, you’d better actually embark on that journey. As I write this, it’s a Friday night and there is far too much to do. I’m considering a new venture with a friend you all might enjoy (S/O to expansion). I was supposed to meet him for drinks, but I have a 9:15am bus to catch tomorrow to Philly. I could have gone. It’s only 10:38pm, but I want to write this more than I want to do anything else.  The secret to doing what you want to do, the way it needs to be done, is to do what you want to do. You’ll end up doing what you’re supposed to be doing –what makes you happiest and expresses you as an individual. Where ever your heart is, is exactly where it needs to be. As I thought about writing this, I considered what you might want and/or need to hear. Not that I’m not concerned with your well being, but if you’ve reached out to me, it’s because you feel comfortable with me. Given I only have one shell, I have no choice but to be me. So f*ck what you need or want, ELLATHOUGHT.com simply gives you what I think. This is my world and I respect the guidelines I’ve set for myself. I respect myself. I didn’t always like what I saw in the mirror. I assume that’s what you’ve gathered from reading me. Tending to yourself and your soul are the most important things in the world. I refuse to believe any theory that differs.

 


#4. Be God-like
     As for spiritually, what you should do: Follow your heart. Whatever you are supposed to be doing here, make sure you do it. Stick to your guns. Be a woman of your word. Sometimes, we like to tell ourselves how great we are and how much we’re changing, but when difficult challenges come our way, it’s easy to go against ourselves –especially if no one will find out. That is where I struggle today. If you put yourself into the light to help other people find their way, you need to stay in the light where you can be seen. You need to be aware that if you stray into the dark, they’ll follow you there. You are now responsible. It’s kind of like how Nicki Minaj said, “I do this for the girls who never thought they could win,” and then followed by releasing a song call “Stupid Hoe” with herself in a cage shaking her ass. You have to be conscious of what you’re putting out there. Every footstep in the sand matters.

      “Our purpose here is to act on Earth like it’s heaven,” Tyesha answered. Here we were, drinking champagne from plastic cups in  Times Square, toasting to her clothing line, Glam Addiction Designs, JWWWD Magazine, success, the empowerment of Our People and His grace. This morning, I told a friend that, sometimes, I worry that I ruin the mood. Instead of yelling and screaming and throwing myself at men, I would much rather sit around a table and ask two girls I have never met before what they think our purpose on Earth is –I needed to hear input other than my own before I wrote this. It was their first night out with me, so I apologized about how heavy my conversation tends to be, but it ended up that they were more than happy to speak about faith, belief, the bible, God and life with me –at 12am on a beautiful summer Saturday night on the streets of New York City, mind you.

       I believe your purpose here is the same as mine. To be happy. To make the world a better place by making your life (which is your world) a better place. That “fire” you mentioned is a marvelous thing. It burns the whole of you. It’s blinding. It makes you squint your eyes and tighten your cheeks. It makes you smile. If you’re already feeling that, you’re halfway there. This is where I feel comfortable speaking to you about God. I don’t know what you call him. In my opinion, that higher power has manifested itself in so many different forms simply to reach us all. He/She looks like what you want him/her to look like. Says what you want to hear. Does what you think should be done. The idol you keep is extremely important. As I had this conversation last night, I can’t sit back and deny my Catholic God –the same one who taught me to accept all people. I believe (like Lauryn Hill said on her UnPlugged) God speaks to the hearts of people better than any of us and he’ll find his way to you whether you want him to or not. Perhaps through my encouraging you. Finding faith has grounded me. Also, in grounding myself, I’ve found faith. At the same rate, I’ve got a couple pages left in Jean-Paul Satre’s Existential and Human Emotions (post coming soon!) in which he argues that every man is responsible for the outcome of his life (“man” used loosely in a sexist epoch). We don’t have a defined “duty” on this Earth. Plants and animals are food, but what are we?

        I believe we are here to live life to the limit and love it a lot. But we decide that “limit” depending on how much faith we have in ourselves. We are to be thankful for each day and try to make the best of it. But each day, as we decide with to do with those 24 hours, you work them on your set of values. If you value love, spread love. (That’s my mission.) Peace? Respect? Honesty? Loyalty? It works on the other end of the spectrum, too. He who lies spreads lies. Some goes for hate, stress and drama. I believe the deities we revere simply personify the qualities we value. Jesus was dope, in my opinion. & he’s the only one who said he was the Son of God, so… if that’s what he said, I have no proof otherwise. I’m Marjorie Thousand by Francia Fung & you better f*ckin believe it.  I admire Ghandi, Mother Theresa, Muhammad, Martin Luther King, Malcom X, Heuy Newton, Sojourner Truth and any other folk –living or dead, present, past or future –who aim to make the world a better place. Even if they made mistakes. Even if I didn’t agree. There are people who agreed with Hitler for a reason. Not saying I agree… but I simply understand what he was thinking. He wanted the world to be a better place –for him. It’s the selfishness that made it wrong & drove the rest to be inhumane. I think that is our purpose. To improve the conditions of living, but we forget that it should be for all mankind. Still, there are so many of us, with so many different stories, we each have to play our part… perhaps you’ve been called to play yours.

       I want to make the world a better place. Especially for women. Especially for women who look like me. I want us to be able to sit at tables with each other and cease the judgement. I want to help our men. I want us, as the human species, to be able to speak with one another and share love. I want us to discuss how to make the world a safer, happier place and one day, put those ideas to work. I want this to be heaven. So badly. I remember when I hated it here. I recall the days I felt alone because I couldn’t see the love that surrounded me. Like the day I sat with my face in the toilet, my mother asking me what I ate that got me so sick, but I couldn’t say “Asprin.” I keep no secrets about myself, I don’t pretend to hold any fame. I unleash my truths methodically and measure them carefully. That’s why that last truth is at the bottom of this piece and in the middle of this paragraph –because those who couldn’t make it through the first portion of this post damned sure wouldn’t be able handle the end of it. I hope you understand that I understand this world is a dangerous place, but we are the most deadly to ourselves. You need to love and believe in yourself. Anything you want to do, you can do it. You’ve simply got to invest your heart into it.

And, please, don’t forget to talk about the flowers.

Much love & many, many blessings,

ELLA ❤