Happy New Year DV family. I hope you spent time with ones you love and had well deserved me-time.
Since it is a new year, I want start off by reintroducing myself. My name is HOV, just kidding. I have a lot of family & friends who keep up with DV, but I also have a lot of new readers who might not be as familiar.
Either way, there will find something below that you probably didn’t know.
I cut my hair off in my bathroom sink once. No this was not during a state of rage. I did not go Britney Spears. Although one time I did chop off half of my hair because I was upset it wasn’t growing. Not smart Jemia! But this was during the time when I was transitioning from using relaxers to becoming natural¹. So before my final sew-in², I went to the bathroom sink, got the scissors and cut all the hair off that was not curly. I did leave enough hair for my friend to braid it up for my sew-in. 8 months later I took it out and voila! My curls were re-born.
My favorite color is Black. This became my color around 23 or 24. I chose this color for two reasons. One because everything and everyone looks great in black. But more specifically because I am Black and I love being Black. There is such power in the color and I feel like there is such power in my culture.
I lived in 5 states before 30. Maryland. Arizona. North Carolina. Georgia. Virginia. I was born in Washington DC, but only lived there for a week. I moved around a lot growing up. Then when I reached adulthood, I kept moving. Even within the same state. I was constantly moving every 2 years or so to a new place.
I was a tomboy. When I moved to Arizona from Maryland I lashed out. I left all my friends, family and my dad. I began to express myself in my clothing and hair choices. I didn’t care anymore. I remember one day in 8th grade a new girl came to school and she was so pretty. I went up to introduce myself and, like a mean girl, she said “you look like a boy”. We later became friends and she gave me a makeover. Ha!
I went to 7 schools before college. 2 elementary schools, 3 middle schools, 2 high schools. Safe to say I was always the new girl.
I dropped out of college mid-semester. I had a boyfriend who lived in North Carolina and I was in Arizona. We dated long distance for about a 8 or 9 months. Until one day we got into a fight. He hung up on me. Staring at the silent phone for about 60 seconds, I went upstairs in a trance. I packed everything I could in 15 minutes. Got in my car and drove to the QT gas station. Filled up. Bought an atlas map, no google maps back then, and hit the road. 4 days later I was in North Carolina. I did enroll back in college the following semester. That put me on the 5 year plan. Oh well, at least I went back.
I hate school, but I keep going back. I did not want to go to college. But my mom did not give me a choice. Then for some odd reason I enrolled in a Master’s Program, and that took me FIVE years to finish. Yea I took my time. Then last year I decided to go back to school again for a more rigorous certificate program. Why Jemia?
When my nail and toe color match it gives me anxiety. I am not the matchy matchy girl. I did this one time at the nail salon about 15 years ago and instantly started feeling anxious. I had the nail technician re-paint my toes a completely different color. All was well then. Weird huh?
I obsess over local celebs versus A Listers. Yes I love celebrities, but I prefer to stalk local celebrities over ones who you will probably never meet. For instance, I love Sunni & the City. She is a radio host in DC – beautiful and chic. The type of person you love to follow on Insta! One time my fiancé (he was my boyfriend then) went up to her at a bar and said “My girlfriend really loves you”. Face palm!
I watch Sex in the City while on the elliptical. I am not a person that is a fitness freak. I don’t say things like “I need the gym to relieve stress” or “The gym is my happy place”. I workout because I have to. End of story. So when I work out, I like to be distracted. While on the elliptical, or stair-master, I watch Sex in the City. 30 minutes is nothing when you are watching Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte & Miranda.
I struggle with body confidence. Between the ages of 25/26 I started to struggle with body confidence. I remember saying I need to loose 10 pounds back then. And now when I look at those pictures, I am like “whew where is that shape at!”. But I love me, no matter how I look. I will always love me. And I just keep working at it. I love to celebrate my small fitness wins. That keeps me going.
I can’t point my left foot. When I was either 9 or 10 I went sleigh riding in my backyard with a neighborhood friend. At the bottom of the hill was a raised storm drain. I was riding an old school sleigh. One that is wooden with chains in the front to control the steering. We were going down the hill, she got scared and jumped off the back which made me turn around to look for her. BAM! I ran right into the storm drain. I cracked the growth plate in my leg. I was in a cast for months. Cast are cool when you are in elementary school. I had my crush at the time sign one whole side. But because of that I am unable to point my toe for a long period of time.
I love being the only child. I think this is because I have always had really close friends. My friends mean everything to me. They are closer than some of my blood relatives. I was never lonely growing up. Even being older, I don’t miss that I didn’t have an older or younger sibling(s). My friends are exactly that. Sisters and brothers.
I grew up picking tobacco. My dad’s side of the family owned several tobacco farms when I was a kid. I made my money every summer by helping my aunts, uncles and grandparents in the tobacco fields. While other girls my age were probably babysitting, I was climbing up a 4 story barn to hang tobacco out to dry before we would sell it.
My dad passed away when I was 15. My dad had a rare form of brain cancer. He battled with it for about 5 years. The day he passed I came home from school. It was a Friday. I kissed my dad and then went to my room. 30 minutes later my grandma came in said “your dad has gone home now”. I got up in a blank stare. Called my cousin. She picked me up and took me to the Friday night high school game where I met my secret boyfriend. I told him what happened and we just sat there watching the game in silence.
I did beauty pageants until the age of 19. I did everything from Little Miss Maryland to Miss Arizona Teen USA. I grew up in the pageant world. I have a different kind of respect for beauty queens, because I know what goes into getting prepared for the crown. The game is real!
I have 7 tattoos. And now I want to remove 3 of them. I thought they were cool when I first got them, but now I think I shouldn’t have got that particular design. I will get the removed eventually. But this does not take a way the fact that I love tattoos. I actually would get an entire sleeve tattoo if I did not work in corporate america. I will get one or two more tattoos before I am done.
My mom altered my birth certificate so I could work at 13. It was summer 1999. Technology was just evolving. Dial up! When you applied to a job all that was needed was a birth certificate or SSN. My mom worked a part-time job at a department store and I saw a “now hiring” sign at an ice cream shop. We photo copied my birth certificate and altered 1985 to look like 1983. And overnight I became 15. Legal working age in Arizona!
I experienced my first death of a friend at 13. I got my middle school friend a job at the same ice cream shop. I asked her to come meet my manager one weekend and they hired her on the spot! I loved working with Jenny Lee. She was one of the girls in school you wanted to be friends with. She also had another friend who worked at the mall. He would often take her home from work. I remember closing the kiosk with Jenny the night it happened. Yes, the owners trusted a 13 and 14-year-old to close their entire business down! Jenny waved bye to me as she went to catch a ride home with her friend. That was the last I saw Jenny Lee. He ran a stop sign on the way home and it took Jenny’s life. It was hard for me to process this at 13. For a long time, I blamed myself because I got her that job. But later I understood it was not my fault.
I believe in my horoscope. I read my horoscope every week. When I would go on dates I would always find a way to figure out their birthday so I can and see if we are compatible. I remember one coffee date I had. I just moved to Northern VA. He asked me my sign. Before I answered I asked “Why?”. His response was I believe in it. I said “Me too”. He then told me he was a Cancer. I am a Capricorn. We both agreed that this was the end of the road for us.
I hope you enjoyed learning somethings about me. Do we have anything in common?
Share your comment below. I would love to engage with my community!