Quiet Thoughts.

It’s so quiet. 14 days of {belly} laughs, communal meals, nephew dances and new adventures…now met with silence. I’ve always known how much I love my family. I’ve written before about being the child that had no desire to grow up. I knew it was a joke.I mean really…Who rushes signing up for paying their own bills!?!

I recognize how fortunate I am to have grown up in a household where my parents did everything they could to maintain a pleasantly memorable childhood spirit alive. At times I wondered whether or not growing up the way I did inhibited my ability to have ‘common sense’. I use to feel under-developed because of my perceived naivety about people and the world around me. I’ve walked around with such joy and appreciation…and still do…somewhat fearful that, that joy- would be slapped abruptly off my face. I now know that my outlook on life is the result of a lot of things…one of which being parents who intentionally designed a world for me where free-spirited living was possible.

As an adult, I now see the world for what it is; light and dark, twisty, unpredictable, and full of hidden gems. My parents are no longer super human to me– they’ve graciously shown and shared with me the obstacles that they have managed and some that they still are managing. My appreciation for who they are and all they overcome, deepens with every conversation.

Spending these days with them have awaken my spirit to such joy. I literally have not laughed this much in years. Dropping them off at the airport felt like a piece of my heart was being ripped away– and the silence made sense.  My people were leaving.. and initially that felt like my joy was leaving with them.

Watching people you love leave feels like pulling a rubber band in opposite directions. The further I drove away– the more tension built…until the band snapped (and the water works began).

I love living in the bay, and yet my heart seeks daily for the comfort and love of family and Home. For companionship. For hugs just because, and laughs that draw tears and headaches of joy. I think I should have abs for all the cracking up I did these past few weeks. Seeing family repeatedly for several days reminded me of all the things I loved most about my childhood. Unwavering love. Laughter. Pain–familiar pain. Hugs. Singing. Unapologetic authenticity. My parents gave me all of this. I hope that this life, in it’s own way, will give me those things too.

They are the reason I light up every room I walk into– they gave me a gift I’m finally able to receive.

I have learned so much during this Bay Area transition about myself and who I’m becoming on this journey through life. I am so appreciative of every lesson, every heart ache, and ever pound on my body that has shown me who I am. I am MORE than enough.

…and that even in the sneaky silence, the absence of companionship, and skepticism around what my life will become… I am undoubtably loved, worthy of love, capable of loving, and, equally, lovable.

COVERED in HIS Grace and Mercy, always.



I Pass Facebook Everyday.

It’s been a year. I drive past Facebook headquarters nearly every morning during my 40-90 min commute to and from work; tolls have become my new normal.

It’s strange how in a years’ time, I can anticipate what continuing life in the Bay area would truly mean. Shared (small) living spaces, no Ruby…maybe? I feel like I’m about to go get her, just saying., lots of introspection, and even more new opportunities to learn more about myself. All of that, followed by a loaded question, What’s next for me? And if I’m being honest– sometimes I hate it. It’s this constant battle between the two vision I see.

1. Me packing up the same 3 suitcases I moved here with and getting back to my family;

2.Me accepting the temporary emotionally exhausted shut down moments, wiping the snot, and resuming the life of independence and unexpected twist and turns, alone.

In re-reading the options– the choice seems obvious. TIME TO GO! Okay not really but I am over these uncomfortable waves of emotion.

I was talking with my boss/friend today about being in a career crossroad; that place where you recognize work-life for what it is, and yet still have these dream-like expectations for quality of life. Goals to accomplish and such–and being a spot of trying to make sense of it all–without getting ahead of yourself.

He’s regularly asking me what I want. When I get past the usual rambling off of materialistic or family lifestyle request,  the conversation commonly shifts based on a current life event. Those events range from Midwest friends’ weddings, my mom’s health challenge/hospital stays, my nephews growing up with a ‘FaceTime’ Auntie, my niece’s sweet little voice on my voicemail telling me she loves me, or new health/workout regiment. Reality sets in on a few things. Everything I love seems so far away, for every obstacle, I keep looking for short cuts, and every area of my life that I’m trying to grow in, is right in front of me. Begging me to not give up. But all those instances, are still not the answer to his question…What do I want? Really though?

F**K. I mean really though.Not that explicit terms solve anything, but from all of my Audible book-listening sessions to and from work (thanks Kevin Hart and Gabrielle Union) I’ve picked up on the use of f-bomb as an outlet to life. Sometimes there’s just nothing more that comes to mind.

My reality being I’m in a great place– I love the bay area, I’m building social networks, I’m building my business, I’m building my savings– and still–I keep trying to work around the real work…..Me… and sometimes,  all I can muster up is a big loud f**k I have more work to do. And that work starts with embracing the obstacles and traffic.

This last year has given me such an appreciation for what’s hidden in texts, texts being books-articles-chain e-mails even (thanks, dad!)- text message– etc. I read now more than I ever thought possible. I’m realizing that every new piece of information I read is walking me through another phase of life. A recognition that I’m moving through my life experiences exactly as I’m designed to… gradually letting go of the damn GPS.

Everywhere I’ve gone this year, I’ve relied on a specific route for getting there. The least traffic on google maps, or a back road with fewer cars– always looking for the least amount of obstacles. Only to learn that obstacles I’ve been avoiding are also all the lessons on patience I’ve been passing up. This year has shown me the importance of patience and learning that instant gratification is rarely what I need–there something to gain in following intuition and enjoying the ride.

So cheers to Facebook, 90 min commutes, and a life full of lessons to patiently learn. Work deadlines being missed. And Scoop carpools being cancelled last minute. Jesus be a fence.



10 Months and Counting: A Grateful Reflection

Time is moving so quickly I’ve missed a whole month of documenting my transition. October was quite eventful. For anyone who follows any of my social media accounts, you’ll see that I celebrated Halloween quite a few times last month. I celebrated a dear friend’s birthday which helped me connect with other wonderful people in the bay area.

@ 10 months in, nearly 11, I can say that the bay area has definitely been a wonderful experience. My cousin’s girlfriend asked me today during dinner whether or not I could see myself staying out here. It took me a little while to think through my answer given all the factors that have made this transition one I’ll always remember.

1. I miss my dog– every single day.

2. I miss my family–every single day.

3. I sometimes doubt my ability to manage the cost of living out here.

4. Sometimes, I feel really alone.

Those are 4 pretty significant things that have remained constants from the moment I hopped off the plane.

I spent the Thanksgiving holiday at my dad’s fraternity’s brother’s house, (shout out to the Kappas), with he and his family. They welcomed me with open arms– a family full of Berkeley and Stanford grads. It was great to start building some connections with people outside of my daily cycle. I don’t know if they know how much advice they shared with me during my short few hours with them, but I drove home listening to Luther Vandross Christmas album in tears. Not sad tears. Grateful tears. It was this Thanksgiving that I was reminded of how intertwined spiritual guidance is in my life. I haven’t been to church nearly as much as I’d hoped. I’ve struggled to find a church family that feels like home…the way One Church was for me in Columbus. And yet, the still small voice inside of me continues to guide me through one of the most emotional journeys of my life…this move…all these changes…constantly working and living outside of my comfort zone.

I cried driving home thinking of all of my family gathered together without me. I cried thinking, I have no idea if I’ll ever experience any holidays the way I’m use to ever again. These tears shocked me. They came from deep within and reminded me of what yielding to faith truly means and feels like. Painful, scary, seemingly lonely, hopeless….lost.

Yoga has been my centering. I’d say I’m a full blown Yogi now since I’ve been practicing consistently for at least the past 4 months. (HELLO CROW POSE!!!)  I recently starting working out with a trainer again (Hi Dre’!) and that combined with yoga has given me some sense of a routine. I bailed on carpooling and am still navigating which commuting style to and from work is going to allot me enough sleep, peace of mind, cost efficiency, and whatever else I’m forgetting. I tried out No-Eat-Out-November this month, a tradition one of my colleagues shared with us back at Ohio State as a way to save some money right before the holidays. To my own surprise I’ve been EXTREMELY successful and have saved soooo much money not going to happy hours.

My weight continued to creep up and for a while I was just spent with myself about it. 225 lbs. Who in all the hell could’ve seen that coming? I mean in my mind, I moved to the one state where for the most part, people are EXCEPTIONALLY healthy, mindful, and fit. Wouldn’t you know that my ass some how found a way to achieve the exact opposite of all of those things! sheesh! I was watching my Buckeyes today and her the commentator share that JT Barrett weighs in at 220lbs, I shed a tear while eating a final scoop of leftover banana pudding.

Somewhere around the end of October/Early November, one of my friends looked at me and said, “Why don’t you just pick one thing to focus on for now; one small tangible and just do that. See where it leads you.” And so I’ve been doing exactly that. The one thing has been not going out to eat as frequently. By God, I’ve done it. And what I’ve learned is that I am more than capable of self-control and achieving goals once I break them down and start looking at things one stick of butter at a time. I’ve done extremes. I’m great at them. Except all the extreme things I’ve done pertaining to diet and exercise have landed me right here–the yo-yo diet expert. No thank you. I’ll pass.

With the yoga practicing business, I’ve gotten much better at meditation. With that, has some skill building in visualization. I had a vision so clear recently of my future self, it scared me, fascinated me, and excited me all at the same time. I could literally see my family, my life partner (with a man bun?!), my home. I could see my smile and my figure and my peace. This could all be a sign that I’m either officially losing my mind, or that I’m finally stressing a little less and that’s allowing me to see everything that’s in front of me. I’m also seeing the gift in being patient with myself AND holding myself accountable. I’ve always done one or the other. Eat the whole pan of X item, Cierra, that’s being patient with yourself. Or. Tilapia and broccoli only, Cierra, that’s holding yourself accountable. I’ve also picked up something I suggest everyone give a try— EVERY time I pass a mirror, I say, “I love you,”. Got that from one of my favorite yogis and it’s hella weird at first, and yet, it’s changing the way I see the person looking back at me.

If yoga has taught me anything at all, it’s the true talent of listening to my body and allowing it to tell me exactly what it needs next. When to push, when to relax. When to write, or when to pray. When to act or when to stand silently–tears and all.

I ramble-write these reflections for you, the readers and for me, the writer.

I have one hell of a story to tell.




365 Days in the Bay– Heyy Birthday (8th) Month: Holiday Wedding Weekend <3

Finished the Shift Shop Challenge last week–#NAILEDIT; ended the challenge 14.25 inches down and roughly 2 pounds lost (forever please!!)

Not going to lie, initially I was a bit disappointed with the lack of weight loss. They say the more you have to lose the faster it comes off in the beginning, right?! Wrong. Not for this chicken tender lover.

In all actuality, I had to be honest with myself about food and life encounters along the way.  I still found myself at happy hours, having the occasional meltdown days, and ending a long term relationship. All things that carried some emotional weight (that I of course ate through 🙄). So there’s that.. lol BUT, I finished! I didn’t have a crappy meal and give up. I showed up every day and I gained a pair a pants in my closet back, so that’s a win. (Thanks, Taylar! 💕)

This process of letting go of perfection has me learning how to uncomfortably sit in things not going quite as I had planned. Once I have a plan–a vision–I take it personally when it starts unraveling.

This relationship being one of these plans.

 I couldn’t let go. It felt (and still feels) unbearable to lose him. To see another relationship come to an end.

God called me to take a leap of faith. To take a chance at living my life across the country. Distance and life was inevitably pulling us in different directions.

When you’re telling someone that despite how hard it is, you are actively choosing them, and they tell you to ‘Stop’…listen.

It was time.

It ended. Seemingly abruptly. The workout challenge ended too, and it was just me, my thoughts, and all this energy around what I should be doing next?

Which brings me to now. I’m currently flying from SFO to CMH for a wedding weekend. My line sister is getting married today and one of my childhood besties is getting married tomorrow. I’ve spent this past week crying my way through yoga classes (mainly because I’ve been out of practice and every balance pose I fell out of!!) and preparing for the shift to training mode at work. It’s another new season for me–Fall being the only season I haven’t experienced in the Bay. The irony being that it was this time last year that I made my way to the bay for the very first time.

I made a solo birthday trip out here with just a backpack and plane ticket. Crashed at one of my best friend’s house and literally explored the Bay. 4 months later I moved here.

Please hear me. If you can put some of your fears aside, you can live out some of the greatest dreams of your life.

If you would’ve told me this time last year that I’d be making a life for myself in California– working at top tier institution, bringing my small business dreams to life, and surviving and learning to thrive with Bay Area cost of living, I probably would’ve started cracking up laughing. Mainly because I laugh at everything, lol, but also because it’s been a dream of mine for quite some time.
Setting the fear aside is MUCH easier said than done.

To be out here alone has been uberly challenging and uberly rewarding. I’ve heard time and time again, if you find yourself being the smartest/expert in a space, it’s time to move on.
I am by no means an expert in any of the spaces I’m navigating lol so I know I am exactly where I’m suppose to be.

Challenged at home with adapting to a new living environment. Challenged at work in navigating institutional cultures while still learning the logistics of my role. Challenged in relationships by navigating new friendships and mentors while trying to maintain those very things with people across the world.

Challenged in watching my parents age from a distance. Manage health challenges, and not being able to drive home for a quick dinner, check in, or a hug just because.

Challenged to be without Ruby. My rescue dog who in all actuality, rescued me.

Challenged to be away from my nephews and my niece– in 2 years time I went from no auntie responsiblites ( just Godmomma duties!) to 3 nephews and a niece!! My siblings have all nurtured my life in truly distinct ways and I so dearly want to do the same for their kids ( and maybe my own someday…)

Challenged to end a relationship with someone I truly loved in order for us both to truly grow…growing apart.

Challenges all around…and yet I’m exactly where I’m “suppose” to be.

I have been really pushing myself to live in a space where I’m making the next best decision. A space where I’m not harping on what I “should” have done differently or wish I could change.

Just making the next best decision.

I look forward to this weekend’s decision to see two people I love dearly, get married! I look forward to seeing my parents, my dog and the house I grew up in–even if it’s only long enough for my mom to make me a grilled cheese.

I look forward to starting a new Shift Shop Challenge Sept 4th, and doing the best that I can while giving myself allll the grace I need right now (I said grace, not excuses!!).

I’ve put on some significant challenge/stress  weight within the last 2 years, and I’m looking forward to giving myself the peace and mind of gradually and persistently working on me.

One next best decision at a time.

365 Days in the Bay: 7 Mos.= Making the Shift

I just finished Shaun Week ; He’s by far my favorite Beachbody trainer. HipHopAbs may have something to do with it. I’ve battled weight for as long as I can remember, and my mom was always standing in the sidelines trying to figure out how she could help–WITHOUT making me feel like there was something wrong with me. A tricky task for sure.

My mom, bless her heart, had me in EVERYTHING! I did tumbling, jazz dance, tee ball, soccer, girl scouts– anything she could think of to keep me active. Myyyy preference was to either be reading a book somewhere in silence or watching Barney. I was easily entertained and the smallest of things made (and still make!) me happy.

Around middle school is when I really noticed my weight– couldn’t categorize it as baby weight anymore, and my friends bodies all look so different than mine. I was short and round and they were all getting taller and leaner. I remember trying out for cheering in the 6th grade and having to get my uniform custom made because my tummy was just so round. The best part of it is no one ever made fun of me, Not ever. Not to my face anyway! I never heard a fat joke, or got tripped in the hallway– any of those stereotypical overweight middle school-er experiences. Maybe it was because my dad was our middle school guidance counselor—or maybe it was because people were apologetically kind for 12-14 year olds.

Either way, at that point (while at a seamstress getting a new uniform made) I realized that there might be a problem. That maybe there was something ‘wrong’ with me and I wanted to ‘fix’ it.

Shortly after I got a Zumba DVD set for Christmas (thanks, Mom!) This was in 2000 ya’ll– before anyone knew anything about Beto (can I get the accent symbols please!?!) and salsa to shed pounds. I was roughly 13 years old and I danced in my living room every single day. Without hesitation, I had all the dance moves memorized and found myself making up my own moves along the way (who’s surprised!! 🙂). Soon to follow was my introduction to Shaun T via HipHopAbs !

Mom started packing my lunch with applesauce cups instead of Scooby snacks, pretzels instead of Doritos, and carrot sticks and apples instead of 4 cookies. This is around the time I fell in love with apple slicers and started having apple slices dipped in a single serving of caramel as my sweet treat for the day. I walked into high school a sneaky 60lbs lighter with barely any effort.

High School to college I maintained. I was always thicker than everyone else, but not quite as round. College brought on new obstacles of mixed drinks and 2am pizza which QUICKLY caught up to me. (Thanks Catfish Biff’s, O-H!) I found myself feeling out of shape (no more soccer and cheering practice to keep me active). I joined boot camps, or group fitness classes– I found that Zumba had really taken off, so I started popping in classes on campus or wherever I could find them. Shook the weight again. #zing

Fast forward to 2015. I looked in the mirror one day and decided I just wanted to be fit. I wanted to see what it felt like to be someone who was actually IN-SHAPE! I’d been working out a Lifetime Fitness for a year, started developing relationships, and met a trainer who challenged me to take my “get-by” fitness to the next level. And that I did. With Brian at my side, I lost 60lbs all over again– but this time I lost it on a 25 year old body. All the curves were falling into the right spots. I was shopping on sales racks, and slipped this thick booty into some size 8 pants. Can I just say that in ALL of my life (up to that point) I had never seen a single digit clothing item slip onto my body like butter. I was hooked. Addicted even. I was working out twice a day, eating tilapia and broccoli like it was going out of style.

Such is life, I ended up tearing my meniscus, and shortly after my grandmother died.

I just stopped. Everything just stopped. No gym. No tilapia. No snap-chatting my journey. I just disappeared. My depression was already slowly resurfacing (before my grandmother passed) and her dying just tipped me off the edge. I had all these feelings about losing her coupled with the reality of recognizing that these days we think we having coming, are just. not. promised.

2 years later (nearly 3) and I have that middle school feeling  all over again. It’s like I haven’t really been paying attention to my weight. I’ve just been trying to survive…and eating through it. I’ve just been working really hard to wake up everyday- go to work- and make it back home without a break down. Her death just unleashed all this junk I’d been suppressing– everything came out and ever since I’ve been managing it.

Rewind to my last post where I talked through Beginning Again. I’m in a space where I now see that attempting to bury challenges that are still alive and well, will only mean that they’ll resurface at some non-optimal time. May as well manage them as they come. This weight. Can’t be buried anymore. It can’t be ‘fixed’. This weight is the physical representation of everything I carry and attempted to silence. I can’t silence it anymore. Time to do the work of recognizing how I have arrived here– carrying all this baggage and begin, again, to let things go.

So back to why I started writing this post- lol! I just finished Shaun Week– the premise being it’s a one week program and can help generate some momentum/belief in your ability to complete something. To get to the finish line and to keep moving to the next goal.

Shaun Week shed light on a few things:

  • Food matters WAYYYY more than we want it to
    • I completed all the workouts and ate freely, just made myself the promise that I would track everything on MyFitnessPal no matter what. I noticed I eat a TON of carbs and sweets (hello dessert after every meal—); the snacks are what are eating up all my calories for the day. Who knew?!
  • Working out as soon as my eyes open works best for me
    • Day 6 (yesterday) I waited until the afternoon and I almost forgot (mainly because I was laying in bed watching yet another Netflix movie lol)
  • Water is a challenge
    • Have you every tried to drink 1/2 your body weight in water?! Good God Almighty. Anyone who knows me knows that I ALREADY have to go to the bathroom 10,000 times a day…add drinking all that damn water!!! #DEPENDSPLEASE
  • Keeping fruits around help with the snacking
    • I’m a bored/stress/I don’t know what to do with myself eater. Having fruits around helped with that. 1. I didn’t want to eat an apple lol 2. So I didn’t snack unnecessarily. I’ve decided not to tell myself I can’t have something. Instead I just don’t keep it in my house. If I want ice cream, I have to literally get in the car and go buy it– can’t walk to the freezer in my pjs and go HAM just because.
  • Including others in the process (when I ‘m ready to include them!) works for me
    • I decided to wait until after Day 5 before I said anything to anyone– mainly because I didn’t want anyone giving me their thoughts if I didn’t finish. That worked for me!

My first. goal was to finish something. By God, I just wanted to start and finish something well– and I did! I did the 7-day program and shed 7inches this week… #hm!

Tomorrow I’m joining my dear friend Taylar Proctor on another Beachbody journey–emphasis? Making the Shift.

For the next three weeks I have committed to completing The Shift Shop with Beachbody trainer Chris Downing. I will by all means, be doing the modified version of all the exercises in addition to modifying the meal plan. I tend to be an extremist so I have to be careful when I take the leap into program and remind myself– I have to do what works best for me! However, I will try and then modify as necessary 🙂



1. Drink 1/2 my body weight in water 5 out of 7 days per week ( I may very well be wearing Depends this week…me and my bladder and all this water?! Lord Jesus be a fence!)
2. Purchase and Prep meals on Sundays (that’s today! already scheduled to get cooking with a friend at 2p!)

3. 10 min of Personal Development (audio books during commute and starting my day with my daily word devotions, or blogging– hey ya’ll!)

Most important goal?! FINISHING! No matter what–sticking to the process, being kind to myself on the tough days, and keeping track of progress.

To help with accountability I’ve taken before pictures, measurements, etc.; at the end of the program I’ll post my results here (eek!)

Beginning again starts with making a shift. These next three weeks are going to be dedicated to exactly that. Taking small steps toward making a shift, facing challenges as they come up (instead of burying them), and moving forward–or as Shaun T would say— Digging Deeper. 🙂

May the odds be ever in my favor!






365 Days in the Bay: Begin Again

Have you all seen that movie? Begin Again? GREAT movie about this music producer whose life was on a specific path and per usual, things took a turn.

For the past month, I have been living the retired life. Hanging out with family, wearing PJs until noon only to shower, put athletic Nike gear back on, and lounge throughout the day. I spent the first two weeks of this month getting drooled on in all the best ways by my nephews and the latter two weeks hanging out in my hometown. I’ve been able to see people and places I haven’t been to in years. Visited with my sergeant Grandfather, popped in all the local coffee and ice cream shops, watched great friends get married, took a miniature road trip with my Mom, and visited my first gun range with my Dad.

I made my peace with Ruby being in Ohio and today, I prep myself for a solo flight back to the bay tomorrow evening. As I wrap up my last few days of “retirement” I’ve spent some time thinking through how I make these next 6 months the best 6 months. I’m 2 months shy of my last 20 something birthday (Dear Jesus.), I am pleasantly plump, and I’m really looking forward to beginning…again…

So what do we do with these new beginnings? I mean I’ve had 30 days to think through this! The end of the year tends to move so quickly. The holidays become these timestamps for another NYE and another year. I assume I’ll be here for this year’s holidays and several years after, but the truth is, all I REALLY have is right now. And with right now– I know my best wish for myself is to move away from getting by and move into living presently and purposefully.

My goals for the next 6 months are as follows:

  1. Be painfully honest. With myself. With others.
  2. Blog twice per month.
  3. Join, complete, and share my experience with 2 health and wellness challenges. This can be anything I want– 30 days of Yoga at CPY, a Beachbody Challenge, a Water Challenge, a Meditation Challenge, a Juice cleanse– just something that is centered on health and my getting back to making some progress here. ( I can’t remember the last time I had a vegetable. #facts)
  4. Launch Business Website.
  5. Save $1000.

The hope is that by writing these goals (and sharing them with whomever continues to find my writing intriguing/helpful), I can achieve the ultimate goal of fully living and appreciating each moment as the gift it truly is.

This time away from work has reminded me that things just move so quickly. No point in harping or re-reading chapters that have already ended. In addition, no point in stressing and concerning myself with chapters that haven’t been written. Each day is a new opportunity to begin again.

And so.

Today. I begin.


And with you (readers) as my witnesses, I take the next best step at being authentically and presently me.



Bolivia, August 2016

365 Days in the Bay: 6 Months and lots of Changed Plans

6 months have rolled by of my Bay life and as I wake up this morning in Atlanta, I’m charged with some emotional thinking. 6 months ago I took a leap and moved for a fresh start, and today— I find myself looking for a ‘fresh start’ all over again. oy vey. What happened?

My plan was to just make it to July.

If I could make it from Jan-July, I’d be okay.

In July I would get some downtime, and most importantly, I’d be bringing my four-legged best friend, Ruby, to the bay. I’d take advantage of my job’s 11 month appointment and take the month of July away from work and as time to re-group and reshape priorities.

In July I would get to see my nephews again, at 4 months, and take a dream road trip with my dad across the country. A memory we both would take to our graves.

In July I’d get to pick my mom up safely from the airport and have downtime to leisurely (and proudly) show both of my parents what I’ve been mastering on the West Coast all on my lonesome.

In July I would attack health goals, debts, and personal business goals full-steam ahead and re-calibrate for another Stanford academic year.

In July I’d see some friends, do lots of CorePowerYoga in all the difference cities we’d be driving through, and I’d come back to work a skinny slaying baddie….rightttt.

If I’ve learned anything during this full transition into #adulting it’s that plans change. And by God they did…quickly…abruptly… circumstances calling me to make selfless, thoughtful, logical, and very emotionally exhausting decisions.

No roadtrip.

No parents in the bay.

More weight gained.

No Paycheck.

No insta baddie post.

No Ruby in California.

Dear God.


July has been everything I needed…not necessarily what I wanted. My time with my nephews reminded me how quickly those little nuggets are going to grow. It reminded me that time truly doesn’t stand still and life waits on no one. It was great spending time with my brother. We haven’t spent that much time together in years… I see him and I always see this guy that somehow managed to get it all right. The career, the life partner, the kids (who gets identical twin boys!!), the house– everything really. He’s just always been so strong in all the ways I feel weak. Time with him reminded me that the same strength lives inside of me– I just haven’t been pushed into having to use it. Living close to home comes with it’s benefits. Hands on (free) dog-sitter, impromptu grocery store runs with mom, and surprise weekend/weekday visits from my two favorite people (my parents). The ability to go home when life smacks you right between the eyes…luxuries I hadn’t thought twice about until I sold all my belongs and moved across the country.

The bay doesn’t offer those comforts. It offers everything being triple the cost that I’m use to, lots of traffic, thousands of people I don’t know, lots of homelessness and poverty, and tons of alone time.

In the same breathe, the bay offers this dreamer–me–the clean slate of becoming everything I dream of being.

July didn’t fulfill the dream of driving across the country with my dad because my spirit wasn’t settled with everything I was attempting to put in motion. In my mind, I had convinced myself that Ruby coming to the bay was the ultimate sign of “Cierra is growing up”. Bringing her would mean that I didn’t, for the third time in my life, hand over my responsibilities for my parents to manage.  Let’s look at history: At 3, I asked for Goldie, and at 13, I asked for Chloe. At 23 I didn’t have to ask anyone about getting Ruby… I was an “adult” and able to make my own decisions. In all 3 instances– my dreams became my parent’s responsibilities— all snuggled by their unconditional love for me.

Ruby’s probably the best part of my time in Nashville and as difficult as it’s been to be a dog-mom through all my own life transitions– Ruby has saved me from myself on more than one occasion. Opting for Ruby to continue her life in Ohio has been this constant guilt battle for me. Feeling like I’m failing her and myself by not stepping up and pushing through, and at the same time, knowing deep down, that trying to take care of both of us could end up being the worse decision I could make. Dramatic maybe, but absolutely how I’m feeling.

I’ll remember this July as a time in my life where I made some tough decisions. A time where I put others before myself. A time where I could recognize the still small voice reminding me that it is well–despite the tears, the heartache, and the tough decision– it is well in my soul and I will be okay. Ruby will be okay….and that I still have lots of work to do (and that I’m still in my 20s, still learning, and still a permissible hot ass mess).

The stillness of July has been grounding. Humbling. When I take a look around me, I see that all the decisions I’ve made while walking by faith and not sight have led me to exactly where I needed to be. Having a relationship with my sister. Living across the country and navigating life on my own…choosing Ruby’s best interest over mine– a house where long commutes and traffic don’t impact her quality of life and mine. The good ol scale silently reminding me that it’s not going to budge until I work through some of the baggage I’m carrying with it.

July has been a time of some serious summer cleaning. I know the more I learn to let go, the more I begin to fall in love with everything I’m becoming. The more I’ll understand the complicated truths of life– that no one is out here having it all. Every piece of life comes with some type of sacrifice.

I wish I could say that I’m 100% confident with all the decisions and realizations of July; what I can say is my mission is to continue to make the next best decision and keep moving forward.

Feel the fear and do it anyway? I’m living with the fear and reality of my decisions right now. The do it anyway is tied to having the courage to trust myself– my decisions, and move forward…

I was able to pop in my church, One Church, during my quick visit in Ohio. My pastor, Greg Ford, was preaching about The Faith Gamble. This idea that we are constantly in a space where were asking God to help clarify or send us some type of sign that we’re doing something right. Greg talked through the importance of recognizing when we have to give something up, in order to walk into our next blessing, our next season. He talked through how in these moments—our flesh thinks we’re crazy and yet our spirit is thriving.

All of that is everything this past 6 months has been. Me giving up everything that make me comfortable for the chance of walking into a life I’m honored to live.

I’m giving up everything I know…feeling all the fear…and doing it anyway.

“I want to take the hand I have right now, and play it to my best ability”- Greg Ford




365 Days in the Bay: Get Your Mind Right

Still month 4. Totally geeked about completing my 6 day juice cleanse (7 lbs down). Cleanse finished on Wednesday. Today is Sunday– and 5 of those 7 pounds are back.

What the royal DUCK (with an F.)

I was talking with a family member tonight about eating 3 rice krispy treats without even noticing and then burst into tears. I was trying to explain how I think there is a food devil that lives in my head that just makes me eat a bunch of junk without my even getting a chance to enjoy and or noticed it! As I was trying to explain, I realized that I was officially off my rocker and just needed to stop talking for a second. After a series of questions, We came to terms with a few things.

My body is SO ready for me to get my shit together; my mind on the other hand?

I have some work to do.

If you follow my snapchat or insta, you’d see that I’m pretty transparent about my food choices and gym routine. When I’m locked in, I’m locked in. You could put 10 rice krispy treats and chocolate chip cookies in front of me; if I’m on a juice cleanse? I’m not touching them! Fascinating to me that I have such unwavering commitment when I’m following some type of strict regiment, but give me freedom? No meal plan? I’m eating allllllll the rice krispies. All of them. In one sitting, and won’t stop to blink.

WHY? Why, God. Why do I feel like a total food addict!!!!

I don’t have that answer. Nor do I really think God has anything to do with my relationship with food. What I did realize today? It’s a control thing.

I like being in control. Relationships. Work. Food. Give me the reigns and I will run with it.

When I’m on a cleanse– there’s control and I’m leading- for myself– with some given guidelines. When I’m at a gym and doing some serious fitness regiment– there’s control and I’m leading for myself– with some guidelines.

When I’m going to the gym occasionally and “trying to lose weight” there are NO controls. Which means I do whatever I want. Which means I typically achieve the exact opposite– less gym time and more free-for-all food time = MORE WEIGHT #ugh.

So what’s the solution? Some would say to stick to strict regiments! They work for me, right! The problem is I end up losing weight to prove a point, not to be healthy. I end up losing weight to win a competition, or to make my trainer look good, or to have some super inspiring story.

The hang up has been this (getting back to my discovery from tonight). I don’t want to lose weight. I don’t want to just watch numbers decrease on the scale. I actually want to be healthy. I want to have a healthy relationship with food. I actually want to love my body and not punish it by excessive workouts and obsessing about a quarter cup of carbs being too much.

I actually want to learn how to cook things I actually like to eat. (Like healthy chicken fingers and french fries—don’t judge me, yes they do exist!!)

Is this possible? Am I so much of a black and white thinker that I keep sabotaging myself? This is all me. I know what to do….so why can’t I do it. What’s changed!?

My mind.  4 months time and my head is spinning. Sure things are settling, but this self-critic would be lying to you all if I said I’ve actually given myself time to process some of the stress I’ve been creating and carrying:

  1. Roommate search: I have been obsessing over this and completely neglecting that I chose a place I can actually afford. Sure a roommate would be helpful; but the stress I’m putting on myself to find one is just not reasonable. Let it go. There is purpose in all of this.
  2. Work responsibilities: lately I have worked myself up so much about what I don’t want to do that I haven’t taken a second to just accept some of the things I cannot change. Like the fact that I’m new and everything is different and I work in completely different functional area right now. Let it go. There is a much greater purpose in all of this.
  3. Making friends: I watched Netflix and Hulu all weekend feeling sorry for myself without even recognizing that I’ve been going non-stop for the past 3 weekends…WITH FRIENDS. A weekend at home was needed. Let it go. You are meeting people at your own pace.
  4. Missing my dog: I hear my neighbors walking their dogs in the morning, or I’ll have a low moment where Ruby would climb up next to me a snuggle…and she’s not there. I’ve been stressing and feeling guilty about her not being here with me. Let it go. She’s with the two people who arguably love you most in this world– your parents. She is fine. You are fine. You will be reunited…it will be okay.

I’m clearly not typing all of these out for your benefit– but mainly to remind myself that some of this stressing has to stop. Particularly if it’s health I’m looking for. Sure stress is a part of the daily life grind; excessive stress, however, serves no one well—particularly not me and my long term health journey.

Don’t get me wrong. The juice cleanse was everything. My taste buds are rewired, my body feels clear, and I’m getting clear signs of what makes me feel good and what things are triggers (i.e. sugar and caffeine now = an INSTANT headache). Now it’s a matter of taking the time to recognize what my body is telling me, listen, and move forward.

My body is telling me it’s ready to let go of this weight in exchange for health. My body is also telling me that getting my mind right is the first step that I’ve spent a good chunk of weight loss journeys ….skipping.

Not this go-round. I’m not doing this for a trainer. I’m not doing this for the ‘likes’. I’m not doing this for a boyfriend or life partner to think I look stunning in backless Olivia Pope gown rockin’ my natural hair (although I wouldn’t be opposed) My focus isn’t on weight loss anymore…It’s my dream to be healthy. This time, I’m okay with being the tortoise. I’m done sprinting. If I lose 1 pound this whole year working through all this junk I’ve created in my mind. Well so be it. Lord knows once I can connect back to knowing without a doubt how beautifully unique, and wonderfully-made I am….just as I am right now…despite size and fitness capabilities….

there will be no stopping me.


mind right

365 Days in the Bay: 4 Months in and a Juice Cleanse

I knew I was ambitious with thinking I’d be writing everyday, so then I switched to every week…and then every month…and then well, yeah. Here I am 🙂 lol

What a whirlwind. You all were reading first hand the initial transition woes. The emotional roller coaster days and the unbelievable amount of self-doubt in my ability to call California home.But by GOD alone.  A LOT has happened in 4 months.

-I moved to my own place.($$$$$ Send me a roommate immediately, Brian you movin’!?)

-Went on my first road trip to Santa Cruz (Hello weekend getaways just because!)

-Hosted my first visitors: My big sister and my nephew– doing SF tourist highlights (got punched in the nose by a 2-year-old and it really hurt!!!)

-Went on Yacht Day Party with allll the trap music (YAAASS!)

-Entertained the idea of dating (then realized I was too overwhelmed and introspective at the moment to give energy to anyone else)

-Re-downloaded SnapChat in an effort to recapture some of my adventures (mainly because I spent most of the time on the Yacht party trying to remember my snap password to capture the ultimate turn up…and I failed! #damnyouvodkatonics)

-Walked the full Lake Merritt perimeter with some friends (without peeing my pants, yes I have bladder control issues– leave me alone)

-Refurbished a dresser someone was tossing in the midst of their own move (and tricked a friend into helping me carry it in to my place 🙂 )

-Started (and hopefully completing ) a 6 day juice cleanse.

Sure there are many other highlights of these past four months (i.e. my parking ticket record) but these are just some of the things that remind me of how far I’ve come. The tears have slowed, the fighting has ceased, and the growing continues.

The juice cleanse being the most recent of activities (currently on Day 4), coming out of a need for a reboot or hard reset. A fresh start. I’ve been so quickly moving through this transition that I hadn’t looked up in a while. I looked in the mirror a few days ago (4 to be exact!) and couldn’t even recognize the person staring back at me. In all the good and hard ways, I’ve been changing and haven’t taken a second to look myself in the eyes.

My hair is short and I get a line up at barber shop in Palo Alto where I’m the only black female ever present. I keep a line up…when did that happen?!

I have braces and my teeth are actually straight now– like I think it’s time to take these things off!! I hadn’t even noticed that these brackets have been doing their job amidst all the random food pieces I continuously am picking out of them.

I look JUST LIKE MY MOTHER. I mean it’s creepy guys. I looked up one day and I scared myself. I am no longer this little awkward rolly-polly 10 year old. Although I feel that way, my body has matured in ways that remind me that I am a full blown adult.

All of this has happened, or maybe has been happening and I just haven’t noticed. I’ve been so busy being soooo hard on myself that I lost track of everything I am doing right.

I am an aunt to 3 nephews and 2 nieces. People were telling me happy mother’s day and I couldn’t wrap my head around why! My sister is a new comforting presence in my life…2 years ago she and I barely knew each other…let alone spoke to one another…and yet she was the first member of my family to come out to see me. She and my nephew…

So much has changed in 4 months.

He and I closed our chapter.

So much has changed in 4 months.

A new chapter in my life. I find that I’m still writing, just not here. I’m writing my first book about transparency and vulnerability…and weight– how they all interact and can completely muck up self-love and self-esteem.

I’m brainstorming how to get my business off the ground and gambling with what it means to be your own boss. It’s sounds cool right, but by God- it’s a ton of work.

I’m drinking 6 juices a day– starting and finishing with a thicker dates/almonds based pressed juice with Chlorophyll and Aloe Vera Water and other green juices throughout the day. As I fight through what I thought were hunger pains, I realized that my brain was trying to calculate why I was no longer stuffing my body endlessly just to feel…

This juice cleanse has removed food as a distraction and really opened me up to what keeps me up at night…what I’ve been hiding from, and what I want most out of this life.

It’s also reminded me to do things that I love and learn to appreciate food in ways I had forgotten. This cleanse has given me time to pick up some of the books I have beautifully placed as decor and read them. This cleanse has helped me look in the mirror everyday with a little grace and little damn girl #hairflip all at the same time. This cleanse has reminded me of the importance of sleep, and nutrients, and metabolism pacing, and what it means to love myself RIGHT NOW… not just the “already healthy me” but rather the “I’m working on it” me.


I feel God_s presence as assurance, comfort, and love.


365 Days in the Bay: Weeks 5 & 6-Playing in the Rain

It’s been raining since my arrival. Everyone keeps telling me I brought Ohio with me. I keep reminding them that if I truly brought Ohio, it would be snowing 😉 

Weeks 5 and 6 have been full of house hunting and navigating what are the essentials. One of my colleagues gave me a book to read- Essentialism by Greg McKeown. The premise was getting to what is absolutely necessary in our lives and leaving the excess behind. A daunting task for a low key hoarder. 

Up until this move I have kept absolutely everything. Door decs from being an RA, text messages, the socks from my first time at Girl Scout camp… lol okay not really, but you get where I am going. Everything. When I accepted this job opportunity I knew I didn’t want to bring all of my past with me. Nor could I! Not if I was really setting out for growth. A big reason I took this leap was to make some sense of why I had allowed things...items…collections…to be so valuable. Why was I so committed to having excessive space and and things to fill it with?

This move involved packing, and repacking my suitcases several times. Selling all of my furniture.  Sorting piles and lots of “did I really just throw that away?!” Lots of Plato’s Closet adventures and Goodwill donations.  All to arrive in CA with 3 suitcases and a few boxes I shipped. Pretty unbelievably adult-like of me! Hm! #forthewin 

In looking for somewhere to live, I have become continuously more grateful that I listened to God as he urged me to purge. All of the spaces here are super tiny and emoji big eyes expensive. OMG!

I can count on one hand the places that I have found that meet my essentials:

1.Ruby (pet-friendly; LARGE dog friendly is whole other beast!)

2. Safety (relative of course)

3. God’s Blessing (i.e. gut feeling)

4. Affordability (also relative)

5. Kitchen (no kitchenette or microwave business; yes people are paying lots of money to live somewhere with no kitchen! Smh)

6.Parking (designated being ideal)

Finding all 6 of those has been damn near impossible. Either I’d meet a great group of roommates and they’d say no dog, or I’d find a place I love that was 3,000+ per month. No bueno. I still haven’t found all 6; however, I have most certainly discovered what is a must while recognizing that I’m still figuring some of this out along the way…

I read my daily devotional this morning which reminded me of this:

Strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.—Matthew 6:33

I suppose that if I swap my list around and let God lead as number one, the remaining 5 essentials will fall into place.

The rain continues. House hunting and rain have occupied weeks 5 and 6 which means I’ve had less time to emotionally exhaust myself. The sun pops up intermittently,  I’ve eaten some fantastic food, met some insanely awesome people, and even got a little twerk team night in (totally impromptu!)  all things I needed and graciously appreciated. (Thanks, God… and yes, I just thanked God for my dance-sesh/twerk team adventure… he knows my heart!)

I’ve found myself missing my grandmother which is a little overwhelming. She died nearly 2 years ago now and for whatever reason she is walking with me every day of this transitional roller coaster. Overall I’m getting better at dancing in the rain, knowing that it won’t last always. I’m dancing and moving right along. Taking a second to splash in the pot holes, while being mindful that at some point, I need to step out of the hole, out of the puddle, and move forward.

It’s so encouraging to know that even when I lend down the path of feeling nervous or scared of doing this all alone, a still small voice graces me with the reminder that I came into this world with Christ,and I will walk through every phase of life with Christ…even when I fight disbelief and resentment. There have been so many times in my adulting life that I have been convinced that God was a figment of imagination that helped people manage the craziness of life. For every moment I doubted, I literally could feel a spiritual presence hugging me just a little tighter.

Sometimes I think us believers are just a group of hopeless dreamers…but then I remember that even if that proves to be true, I’d much rather continue life as a dreamer and believing in the spiritual presence of life than to believe that there truly isn’t any”Disney magic” in this world. 
When I am in doubt, and the “rain” overwhelms me, something spiritual reminds me that all is well, and that Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. Hebrews 11:1

“When we recognize that what is visible must first come out of what is invisible, we might find ourselves getting out of some pretty rough jams…”- Gregory Barrette (Daily Word)

Cheers to rain that hides tears while giving me a reason to lean into faith, remember to play, and to not take myself so seriously. ❤