This time, there is no excuse, so I may as well confess, that as a copywriter, I find it far easier to draft the unique selling points of a brown paper bag, to the extent you may even consider buying one to mask your “friend’s” face (hey we all have friends who need one) but for some reason, I can barely write about myself! Weird. Something I’m working on. This particular post has been slowly decomposing on my laptop for the past 6 weeks without any progress whatsoever, beyond the first 2 sentences which are –
“First and foremost I want to say a huge thanks to all, the readers, subscribers, commenters and everyone who has shared our content and recommended this blog to their friends. Every ounce of your generosity is greatly appreciated!”
Talk about writer’s block!
I also want to thank everyone who personally reached out on my birthday, both on Twitter and Facebook, the outpouring was amazing! By the way, I read all of your comments – they are brilliant, keep em coming! Your collective personalities have made the #BCG Twitter TL and Facebook page one of the most engaging to read! It’s great to hear your opinions because your opinions matter.
I have now had plenty of time to think over the 4 pivotal moments, which inspired me to hang up my beloved party gear, and channel my geeky alter-ego, to create BLACKCITYGIRL in my spare time, at the end of 2012.
So here goes…my life began to unravel at the beginning of last year, when my Dad was diagnosed with back Cancer in early February. I was totally blindsided by the news. After all, this was a man who was supposedly healthier than me. In fact he was insanely healthy by anyone’s standards, having followed a strict health regime for over a decade. In spite of his age, he still worked around the clock, and exuded energy wherever he went. With Dad being stoic in the wake of the revelations, my emotions simply fell apart, my schedule ground to a halt as I wrangled with the possibility of his absence for the first time. The initial shock had a profound impact on my system, and I was so stressed, as my Dad isn’t just a Dad to me, he has been my sole provider and the only parent to champion and love me, unconditionally since I was a child.
Naturally, I couldn’t help but trace over all the years he had dedicated towards toiling, sacrificing, and putting my needs first, believe me, the pangs of guilt soon flooded my conscience, because I had done little to show for his efforts, nor had I stretched myself to any degree…unless you count staying in a few dull 9-5’s a stretch. During those darker moments, all my family had was prayer, to help him pull through each operation. Watching his optimism and gradual recovery from the brink since then, has actually given me the courage to believe ANYTHING is possible. The miracle of his presence also grants me another chance to extend my gratitude before it is too late.
Meanwhile, I had relocated to my sister’s house, while she was embroiled in a bitter divorce case. After a long, drawn out battle, she lost her house in the settlement, during the same week my Dad’s illness came to light. Within days, we were all forced to move out. Up until then, I was living from pay check to pay check, and was too busy squandering my salary on nights out, to think about reserving anything. So what should have been a minor hiccup (had I saved) turned into a major crisis, as my sister had spent a small fortune in the courts and I had zero savings. The situation was bleak enough to predict my sister, her 2 kids and I would end up in a homeless shelter. Whereas all my life I was blessed with a generous Dad, he was sick and had hospital bills up to his neck. We had a family meeting and my poor brother found himself having to choose who to help. Thankfully, I moved in with a friend who gave me 1 week to find a place, which I did. Although I felt completely humiliated, managing to secure a place, under such duress gave me an inner confidence and made me realize I NEVER wanted to be in such a vulnerable position again.
Around the same time, I fell into an intense relationship with a teacher
When I say intense, I mean…we would speak for up to 5 hours a day on the phone – everyday. We were like love sick teenagers.
People would ask me all the time: “But Yvonne what the heck do you guys talk about for 5 hours??”
And to this day, I still don’t know, LOL. I think we spent most of the time massaging each other’s egos, ha! But we seemed to have the same ideals, he was ambitious, attractive, so the combination was pretty lethal. He was also super romantic, and he would text me every morning, which resulted in 11 or 12 texts throughout the day, turning into a full blown conversation at night, and the pattern would resume the next day.
But as with anything that starts with fireworks, it usually disintegrates into fireworks as well, and sure enough after a few months, the arguments began to spiral out of control. It became clear that we just weren’t on the same wavelength at all. He was more interested in going out, whereas the events in my life, had driven me to prioritize my future and he began blaming our arguments on my change. Of course he would tell you differently.
In hindsight, I’m sooooo glad it ended as abruptly as it began, because our split gave me my life back. I also came to the conclusion, that the next man I date, needs to be my equal and that the only way that will happen is for me to do something that reflects who I truly am.
These trials didn’t just turn my life upside down, they compelled me to search for answers on the web. That’s when I recognized, although there are plenty of celeb and fashion blogs, there are few online destinations for young black women which tackle real life issues, offer assistance, or provide positivity and enlightenment. As a black girl trying to make it in the city, I found, there was hardly anywhere I could turn to, for the type of wisdom and advice that represented my needs – sad. I suddenly had an epiphany that, if I was finding it hard, other black women must be experiencing the same problems too.
“It’s not important how we start, all that matters is how we finish!”
I may not have the same experiences as you, but I’ve been broke, been lied to, been cheated on, been depressed, grown up in a broken home, I have a father who loves me, yet I have a mother who abandoned me at 3. I’ve had self esteem issues, but I love fashion, make-up, reading, keeping up with the latest trends, getting ahead, success, positivity. This blog is open to every woman who can relate to these topics. It wasn’t my academic qualifications that persuaded me to start this type of forum, it was PAIN and the harsh reality of life.
I still work full time
While running this blog, and churn all my resources into improving your experience, although I don’t deserve an award for this as it’s my choice – it’s a sacrifice, hence my social life and vacays have taken a hit! When I stop, everything stops. Please remember, this isn’t a fancy organization it’s me and a few other individuals who genuinely care and enjoy doing this. So although it’s not easy, it’s completely worthwhile!
We have exciting interviews, more advice, lifestyle tips, entertainment in the coming weeks,
I can’t wait for you to read it!
Yvonne Jane Lorraine.
Is a step by step manual to build your online presence from nothing to hundreds of thousands in 365 days. You will learn how to set up and run your website and social media accounts properly plus market and brand your business while gaining quick results. Begin your course today it’s free:
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