Hi, I am not Perfect

Hello, my name is Latonya Gibbs and I live in Miami Gardens ( Murder Gardens as some may say). I am a native Floridian, and I was raised by two lovely Jamaican parents. This blog is going to be of course a little about me,so lets get to know each other. I am 31 years old ( just turned that chapter Dec 29). I am mother of two crazy and wonderful children. My daughter Amari is 15 years old, yes I had her young, is a cheerleader and a dancer, my son Derrick Jr. is 11 years old and he is  a basketball player. He calls himself Allen Iverson weird right? He not old enough to know who is A. I. but I let him have it.  I am currently engaged to my fiance Davarius who supports me, and deals with my crazy busy life. I also have two dogs (my other crazy babies) my oldest dog’s name is Bear and the youngest is Angel.  I am also a second year pharmacy student at Larkin University, Class of 2019.

After sharing all above, if you’re thinking my life is busy as is, let me also add that I am a business owner of an accessories company called icandy by Leshawn. As cliche as this may sound, my life is literally an emotional roller coaster, actually, more like a theme park of nothing but roller coasters.  But guess what I make it happen. I get on those rides and ride with either fear, joy, sadness, happiness,  and many more. Why? because  I am a strong, educated, determined, lovely lady that is driven to ensure that my success is going happen. My kids depend on me, my bae depends on me, the world depends on me, ok, maybe not the world but you get what I mean, lol.  Welcome to my public diary, journal, or vent place. I will talk about motherhood, my relationship, my education, being fashionable as a broke student, and many more. Hop on my roller coaster and get ready to ride………..

 

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MY BREAK IS COMING TO AN END

Today I woke up at 5 a.m. to get my  princess ready for school. Yep!, the holiday is over and we are back to our normal schedules. It’s time to get back to my busy life again. In addition to my kids going back to school, my own school starts tomorrow.

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At the moment, I still don’t have any feelings about going back to school. I can’t say I’m excited or sad about it, but the one thing I can say for certain is school is going to start regardless of how I feel. As I mentioned in a previous post, this is my last semester before we go on our internship, so in my mind I am graduating in May, lol. I like to think that way to keep things a little positive as I get closer to my dream.

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As I sit here trying to get my life together before going back to school, I realize that I didn’t really do anything during this break, and I am actually happy about that. I was able to get plenty of rest. Although I worked and had to tackle the Mount Everest of laundry, I was still able to get some much needed time to recuperate, which I realized I was in terrible need of.

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Yesterday I attended a gathering, and while I wish I was able to share in detail my experience, I can’t right now. I can say that I had a great time, and I was able to mingle with people who I have only said hi to, and I really got to know them a little more than simply people who attend my school. I also got a chance to learn about leadership, and to be honest, I felt proud because it made me realize I am not doing too bad in my leadership roles. I had been really hard on myself as a leader, but I have come to learn that if we want to be leaders we have to follow our own rules, we can’t tell people to do things we don’t do ourselves. I also met someone that was inspirational in the way he carries himself and speaks, and  I would love to work with him. He gives you the drive to want to do better.

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Another revelation I had was that being rich doesn’t move you to success, it’s the push you give yourself that moves you, and determines who you are.

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As I hope some of you may have gathered from my posts up to this point, I am a pusher and I will continue to push, and do things the way I feel is right. I have come to realize that I might not end up with the dreams that I started with but I understand that whatever is in my best interest, I am going to make sure I do my best to accomplish.

Today I am going to end my blog with this quote: ” Don’t stop when you’re tired. Stop when you are done.”- Unknown.

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EMBRACING MY CITY

In 2003 the city of Miami Gardens was established. As a citizen of the city, I was confused about what was happening with the name and establishment, but thought, hell, the city didn’t do anything for me anyway, let me mind my business and raise my daughter, she was 1 at the time. Since 2003, I have seen some things that I liked and things I didn’t like, but one thing for sure, I have seen several changes and continued growth in the city.

The mayor for Miami Gardens is Oliver Gilbert. I can’t recall when Mayor Gilbert obtained office, but I can speak with certainty that he has been working assiduously. I have seen a lot of improvements in the city over the years. Now before anyone even thinks about rolling their eyes, and has anything negative to say, this is not an advertisement or endorsement, I am speaking honestly and truthfully. I have lived in Miami Gardens all my life. Let me reiterate, I have always lived in good ol’ Miami Gardens, therefore I can speak with a certain amount of confidence on the city and all that I have seen.

THE CITY OF MIAMI GARDENS LOGO

My kids have participated in several sports and summer camps. There are several activities hosted by the city for kids to participate. My daughter has cheered for the Chiefs twice, and my son once played football, which is his favorite sport, but due to a conflict with him and the coach, he lost some love for playing and decided to try something else. He currently plays basketball for the City of Miami Gardens which he loves. Perhaps I will discuss that in another post. My kids have also attended summer camp for about 3 years consecutively. The moral of the story, the city has several activities kids, great alternatives to simply sitting at home.

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I am happy to be able to witness all the developments in my city, and the fact that more events are being held. One such event is Jazz in the Gardens. It is one of the biggest events held annually, and there are people who fly from all over the world to attend. Davarius and I always try to attend because we enjoy the great vibes and always have a good time.

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In my opinion a lot of positive things are happening in our community but yet we still fail to get any credit. Unfortunately, the city never fails to be recognized for gangs, killings, and theft. Yes things happen in our city, I myself have been a victim as I had my car stolen and needless to say I was furious, I mean who wouldn’t be. Despite all of that I still believe you can’t judge the city only by the crimes that occur, especially since these crimes happen everywhere.

I know there are several people who would like to solely blame officials for all the crimes that are committed. I can recall an instance when I was having my son’s party at the Betty T Ferguson Complex Center. It just so happen that the campaign for the mayor’s reelection was also taking place. A lady dressed in a shirt of her deceased son was screaming and blaming the mayor for her son’s death. As sad and unfortunate as it was, no one should have to bury their children, I couldn’t help but sit and wonder how that was possible. It wasn’t as if the mayor gave the shooter the gun, the killer was responsible but I decided to leave it alone.

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While I do understand that our elected officials are not perfect and do make mistakes, we also have a part to play in the betterment of our cities. I have great appreciation for the mayor because despite being in the middle of his busy campaign, he made time to attend my son’s party and met with some of my friends from pharmacy school. As a male figure, he spoke to my son and gave him positive words of encouragement. Many of us should ask ourselves, how many mayors would stop to attend a kid’s party? Not for a news story or a photo-op, but to get to know the citizens of the city.

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In my opinion he tries his best to be good person and not just an elected official. We need to understand that just like us, he is human and is he in no more control of the actions of others than we are.

On a positive note, the mayor is currently doing a 60 days healthy challenge. I know, cool right? I think so too. He is providing free classes, ideas on how to eat healthy, etc. Of this entire initiative, I think the best part is they have included trap yoga. I have wanted to do trap yoga for a very long time but due to school and finances I have been unable to attend. When I found out about the initiative and the inclusion of trap yoga, I jumped at the chance, because I love trap music, and I mean who doesn’t love a free class.

I met the yoga instructor and she gave the most positive vibe. I wasn’t sure what to expect but she was nice, and she greeted everyone with a wonderful smile. She understood that we were beginners. I told her I wanted to start working out again, I how excited I am because not only do I get to listen to trap music, the class is close to my house, and again did I mention it’s completely free. I had to make sure I repeated for clarity, lol.

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The instructor has an Instagram, it’s Yes2yoga, and of course I have been stalking her page all day. I am happy to report that I have seen nothing but positivity on her page. After trap yoga I did boot camp which was great as well, but the instructor got the best of me with the lunges and squats. To push through I just had to think, big firm booty is coming real soon, lol.

Overall, the day was great and guess who is here chilling with me today?…my son Derrick! We played some basketball, ate dinner and spent time just being lazy and chilled, as I mentioned, we are trying to better our relationship.

As I sit here reflecting, I can say I see nothing but greatness and continued growth in Miami Gardens. I embrace it, and I am not ashamed of my city. I am happy to say, “Hi, my name is Latonya and I am from the city of Miami Gardens.”

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SOMETIMES BEING STRONG HURTS

I woke up depressed this morning. Am I the only one that experiences this? I woke up feeling sad, alone and unloved. I know I have two wonderful kids, two wonderful dogs and a great fiance. I have a wonderful life that most people would want and dream of having, but nonetheless I feel sad this morning. As I rolled over and kissed bae, I told him that he is all I have, and he said “nah, you have family, they just don’t show love to you.” My heart hurt a little because it’s the truth. All my family lives within driving distance but I refuse to visit and spend time with them, and I am pretty sure the feeling is mutual. You may be asking yourself why things are like this, and the harsh truth is, they show no care for me, and I don’t see love coming from them, so it’s easier not to waste each other’s time. My dad comes by from time to time, but other than that no blood relative comes to visit. To give you an idea of how things are, I moved to my current home one year ago and the mother who birthed me doesn’t know where I live.

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The true, genuine love I get is from my friends. I know there are people out there that love me, but sometimes I am overwhelmed and just feel alone. I look at my kids and try so hard to have a relationship with them because I don’t want them to feel the same way I do when they grow up. I don’t want them to feel unloved.

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What triggered the sadness this morning was the fact that I miss my brother, and really wish he was here. Even though we had different mother’s, I sometimes feel he was the ONLY one that understood me. When I had my guard up he understood why and respected it. I felt the loved he gave me so much, but then I question myself  at times, how could he love me and leave me in this crazy world alone?

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A few years ago my brother decided to take his own life while he was in prison. Yea I know it’s shocking, and I am ready for the judgement after reading this but at the end of the day he loved me unconditionally. Just remember that everyone has a heart.

 

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I sometimes wonder, did he think I didn’t love him? Was that why he killed himself ? I feel so empty without him.  I feel so angry with him at times. How could you not be here for your little sister knowing how much we’ve been through? how could you leave me at this point, knowing that I was going to need you on this journey that I am on now?

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I can no longer get any calls, no letters, no more motivation. I just need one more conversation, one more argument. I really wish I could get one more phone call, one more letter, one more hug.  I just want to hear his voice calling me big head just one more time. I read his letters all the time and try to motivate myself, and pretend he is still alive. I really want to tell him that I am changing for the better, and even just be able to tell him how my day was in school. I just want to be able to tell him something, but I can’t and it hurts a lot. I know I will be okay, I just want him to be here, but since I can’t get my way, I will have to shake this feeling off and carry on.

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As I laid in bed with the man I love, I cried silently. The most hurtful part was when he said “bae your allergies are really kicking your butt this morning.” I know he didn’t mean any harm, I understand why he said it. I never really cry so no one expects me to cry on my pillow or their shoulder, hell, I surprise myself crying this hard.

I’ve always thought that only the weak cry, and never allow any one to see you cry because it shows nothing but weakness. Being an island girl, you are only taught to be strong. There is no crying, no whining, no I can’t do it, no nothing. I sometimes think that I was raised right to not show emotions and show no weakness, but I think sometimes it leads to being a heartless person,which I can be at times.

I am learning that in life, it’s okay to cry, not all the time, but it’s okay to miss some one. I sometimes wish I wasn’t this strong because people expect you to have no emotions, to not go through stuff, and you have to always pull through no matter what. I have to continue being a mother, a fiance, and woman regardless of how I feel on the inside.

Sigh…I can’t be depressed all day, so the next step after writing this blog post is to wash my face, start my day and keep going. Lately I have learned to cry it all out, wash my face, put my cape on, and be the superwoman that I was made to be on this Earth.

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MIAMI’S PALM TREES NEED A JACKET!!!

Soo… no South Beach, no Wynwood, and hell no outside! Here I am, on my break from school and this stupid cold weather decides to come, ugh. To be honest, I don’t know if I would have went anywhere but if I did eventually make that decision to do so, all thoughts would cease right now. It’s too damn cold. Miami is cold! It’s a currently 43 degrees outside!!! What in the entire hell is going on in the Sunshine State? With this cold weather, all my bae wants to do is cuddle because he gets cold really quickly. It’s so cold we probably could make a snow man out of the beach sand, lol. That’s the only way we’re able to see a snowman in Miami. And yes, I know 43 degrees is a walk in the park for some, but for good ol’ Miami, it’s artic weather.

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Today’s plans: make breakfast, finish the 3 remaining loads of clothes from my episode of Leshawn’s Washing for the entire Miami show, and run some errands.  Until the moment I had to wash all this clothes, I never knew I had so much, and here I was saying I don’t have anything to wear. I think that’s normal to be honest. We all have tons of clothes in our closet but when it’s time to go somewhere, we’re suddenly not ‘feeling’ the clothes we have, so we go out and go find an outfit. We then add these new items to our wardrobe which leaves us with more clothes to wash.

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I am happy that I finally tackled all these clothes because now I will have clothes to wear.

Yesterday, I was on a mission to get these clothes out the way.  As I sat down and read, I was also folding. I even had my daughter help. She would put them in the washer and dryer, and I would fold.

Needless to say I was really productive yesterday. I deep conditioned my hair, trimmed my ends, and braided it so I could throw on my Beyonce wig, like one of my good friend’s likes to say (you will get to know her soon). I am ready for the world.

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My son is currently at his father’s house. He recently got a new phone, which is good because now we have more time to speak freely. A little insight on my son, we are really alike, which causes us to clash a lot. We speak freely and without filter. As with a lot of children, especially preteens and teens, he feels as if I don’t like him because I put him on punishment and discipline him. Of course I feel differently because I do it all out of love and I really care about him. So long story short, right now he is at his dad’s house. As much as I miss him, I believe having  parents in two different homes does provide some advantages and disadvantages. Let’s point out the good shall we;

  1. Both the child and parents can get a break when time is split between both parents
  2. And of course for the kids, they get two of everything

Since I can only think of two things for the above I guess I will only give 2 disadvantages. Just to maintain fairness, lol.

The disadvantages are;

  1. Two different types of rules
  2. Two different types of disclipline

In my opinion when kids have one parent that is more involved and does the disciplining and another parent they don’t see as much, or does not discipline them as much,they tend to think that the less strict parent is better.

In all honesty, I am really sad about it and I miss not seeing him every day, especially in the mornings but we needed to build a better relationship. I hope we can, and I am happy that he gets to be with his dad and spend time with him.

As I am here writing this lovely blog post. My dogs are dancing around the bed and I am like “listen, it is too cold for you guys to go poop, your butt might catch a cold.” My oldest dog Bear is the calm one, and of course he went and sat down in his bed but my other dog,this damn Angel of mine, man oh man. He is still dancing around  like a Mexican  at a party . He is my special one, and his name is very fitting.

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Angel is the youngest of the two in my house. He just turned 1 on Christmas. I just noticed he is a Capricorn like me, *rolling eyes*. Anyway, he is a dog with no fear what so ever. I can scream at him for 800000000+ times and he is back to doing the same thing again. He got hit by a SUV a couple of months ago and he still here like an angel. Here’s the story, being as tenacious as he is, he escaped from our yard, ran right into the street, and boom! he got up like nothing happened. To make matters worse, the street I live is like a scene from fast and the furious. He got hit and ran right back through the hole that he used to escape. Luckily we saw it all on our cameras. Sigh…if I sit here and tell you all the things he has done it wouldn’t be a blog any more, it would be a book. This is my Angel. Everyone say hi Angel!!!!!

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So, today I am going to pull out my old high school jacket and my thermals, with my boots and embrace this weather. Let’s be real, I probably won’t accomplish the task of embracing the weather but at least I’ll be warm.

On another note, the count down begins, 5 more days until school. At the moment I don’t know if I am happy or not but one thing for sure, this break went by fast and I did nothing fun except for game night on my birthday. Soon it will be power points, notes and trying to understand why you don’t understand the material. I think I am ready for the unthinkable. I compare pharmacy school to the movie The Unthinkable with Samuel L. Jackson. Go watch it. For me, i’ll call it the Unthinkable of Larkin University.

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I NEED MORE HOURS IN THE DAY

So….. It’s Jan 2, 2018 and I can’t even remember where the hell Jan 1st went. I told myself that when I woke up on Jan 1st I was going to wash all these clothes, wash my hair and be productive. Well, its a whole new day and I haven’t even wet my hair, but I did wash some clothes, so I semi failed, lol.

As a mother of two with a fiance, simply washing and folding clothes tends to feel like a 9 to 5 job. After staring at the mountain of clothes before me, I refused to be folding and washing all day so I had to enlist the help of my fiance Davarius, after all it’s about team work, right?  As chivalrous as my fiance is, he rolled his sleeves up, put his superman cape on and proceeded to help. There I was feeling like we were being a super team until I realized he had found a comfortable corner on the couch and started to collect some zzz… In all fairness, we did have a lot of clothes to launder, maybe 12 loads and that’s minimum. Now I know some people may ask “how in the entire hell did you have that many loads?”  For the past couple of weeks I have been working at CVS during my Christmas break. My main goal during this holiday break was to try and earn as much as possible because as I mentioned, I’m a broke student. Since I worked super long hours, it meant that I was gone all day, and doing laundry was not very high on my list of short term priorities. In addition to my crazy schedule, Davarius has been ill and has been on leave from his normal job, but being the man he is, he was doing postmates to ensure that we were still taken care of and to make ends meet. Again, needless to say, it’s been a little rough financially. Now, some of you may remember I mentioned that I have a teenager but let me be real, depending on a teenager to wash all those clothes would be equivalent to me waiting for Donald Trump to be smart while making important decisions, it’s just not going to happen. In my daughter’s defense, she does help around the house, but teenagers tend not do things right or fast enough in my opinion . So in conclusion, the clothes piled up, and boom! here we are with 12 loads of clothes. But I am happy to report we are almost done yayy!!! Doing a cart-wheel right now, well…only in my head.

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As I mentioned, my fiance was ill and he was on leave from work for quite some time, but GUESS WHAT!!!! Today he is back and in full effect, and headed back to work. I can’t even lie, it is a true bittersweet moment. Yesterday, I was excited he was going back to work and be gone for 8 hours. I could revel in the fact that I would get my space, but alas, that’s not the case, in all honesty I miss him already.  I am happy he is doing better and back to himself health-wise because I truly hate to see him sick.  So here’s to hoping he has a wonderful first day back at work. Hmm….I wonder if he is still going to do postmates? you know what, never mind, I was just thinking out loud.

Now let’s get back to this Celie from The Color Purple, Kunta Kinte, and a dash of some Indian mixture that is on top of my head that I call hair. For a bit of a back story, about 5 months ago I was going through a lot with school, the kids, home, etc. I was under immense stress, and with all that stress my hair started to fall out. So I did the unthinkable….. I did the BIG CHOP! Even now I still can’t believe I did it.

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I went to my spiritual sister, who is also my hair stylist, and we did the big chop. To be honest, I didn’t feel too sad because she specializes in everything , so I knew my hair was in the best hands and would be growing with no problem.  Now they say confession is good for the soul, so here goes, another reason I wasn’t worried too much was because I have an addiction. Hi, my name is Latonya Gibbs (the crowd says Hey Latonya) and I am addicted to wigs. That’s right folks, wigs. I don’t know who invented wigs but whoever the wig god is, thank you. I can have long hair or short hair but one thing for certain is that I will find a way to slap a wig on with no hesitation. I just feel like it’s cool that I can change things up whenever I feel like it with no hassle.

Being natural is not really the problem, it’s the washing process that sometimes has me exhausted and saying “give me the creamy crack right now, please.” It requires so much just to tame it and braid it for my wigs . After sharing all that, I already know it’s coming, why don’t I just wear my natural hair? The answer…I like to change things up, and to be honest my hair is not ready for this humidity in Miami just yet. When I reach a year I do plan on rocking my afro puff all day, every day, but right now I am in my humble growing stage.Don’t get me wrong, I do let it get some breeze and wear it freely on occasion, I am not ashamed. It’s  just a personal choice to wait a year and show it off in celebration.

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Me taking my Morning snapchat post. Snapchat filters are thee besttttttt…

Now I’ll head back to reality. I am going to put on my superwoman cape, take out the meat to cook for dinner, spend hours washing my hair, finish tackling these clothes, annoy my blessings (my kids), and of course keep a smile on my face and try to be super happy while doing all that I have to do. If only I could get more hands to do all of it. I would call it the many arms of Leshawn.

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SO LONG 2017, HELLO 2018!

Happy New Year!!!!, 2018 is here in live and living color. Now I know people are already starting with the new year, new me! chorus, but let’s be realistic, if you weren’t brand new from 2016 rolling into 2017, then chances are it won’t be any different this time around. Before I get the side eye, let me just put the disclaimer out that while I don’t believe in making yourself new overnight, we definitely can all make slow and steady improvements.  My personal goal for this year is simple, I just want  to do better, and achieve more. Even though I can’t say 2017 was horrible, it surely wasn’t great either. As we move into the new year, I know one thing for sure, I am already getting closer to my dreams. My kids are getting bigger, smarter, and more of course more expensive, and to put the icing on the cake, I have one more semester left of sitting in a class, and having to endure endless nights of studying. That’s right people, as of May 2018, I will be off to internship. As with most people on this day, I like to reflect on the year that was.  My 2017 was filled with many ups and downs, but to be honest if  I didn’t have those moments my year would probably have been pretty boring, at least that’s how I like to think about it, lol. In retrospect, I have so much to look back at and proudly be able to say, “man I overcame that struggle” or “I can’t believe I was really crying over that situation.” Now that I am really thinking about the previous year, man I was a cry baby in 2017, but in my defense, 2017 and all the previous years has brought nothing but strength and growth.

As a tradition, every year when we are on the cusp of the new year, I always make sure I find myself in the Lord’s House (church). Well…except this one year I went to a Pitbull concert, but that’s another story, lol. Now I know you’re probably wondering why I have to be in church, well, simply put, that’s how I was raised, it’s an island ting. No matter how many times you may or may not have been to church throughout the year, you better be in church on New Year’s Eve Day to ring in the new year. Overall it just feels right ringing in the new year with a good prayer, and surrounding myself with positive people. I always know that the Lord is my father and Savior. I know things will be good in His house giving Him some praise with my daughter Amari and my bae Davarius. Every year I always spend my New Year’s celebration with another special person in my life, Ms. An’drenesha. She is the most positive person I have ever met in life.

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Here are some highlights I felt I needed to share that the pastor gave out in service;

  1. Push through all your struggles and make it to your success
  2. It’s time to reconsider, remove and replace your negative friends and family
  3. Don’t quit because of some pressure, hurt, and persecution, keep going! 

I know those three things are more easily said than done, but I am committed to at least trying to work on them, Lord knows it was a great reminder.  

Oh yeah!!!! The pastor also made a point about relationships, and of course Davarius ol’ rusty self with his long eyelashes hit me with the “you hear him” look. 

So basically the pastor said that in a relationship you should treat your loved one how you want to be treated, and I am like umm…is that really true? but that will require it’s own blog post to discuss. 

Now I know you guys know this wouldn’t be a New Year’s blog post without talking about weight loss. On the real, the biggest thing I need to do is go to the gym. As I was getting ready for church service, I had to change like 3 jeans because they were too tight, some I couldn’t even pull over my booty and gut. After the struggle and finally being able to find a pair of jeans, I came to the conclusion that I need to get to the gym ASAP, like last week type of ASAP.

Being in pharmacy school, man, I have gained so much weight (30 pounds to be exact). Having lost myself in pharmacy notes, power points, and PAPA JOHN’S pizza. But I need to get back to the fit  life and get ORGANIZED. OMG, did I really say organized? Me being organize pfffttt, I would be more worried if I was organized. I like to compare my life to a maze because I am all over the place, but I will always get to the end at the right time. Leshawn’s MAZE is what I should call it.

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