This past fall I started hosting a new event in my town that I call the See Jane Write Wine Down. It’s a gathering at a local wine bar & lounge, a girls’ night out of sorts, but one with a distinct purpose. The See Jane Write Wine Down is meant to give female writers, bloggers, and entrepreneurs an opportunity to meet with other women on a similar journey to share their troubles and to get encouragement and support.
This all came about because of a conversation I had with a fellow female entrepreneur at a networking event. She, like me, is building a business while working a full-time job. She’s also a wife and a mother and her husband is getting restless with the late nights and early mornings she’s spending working on her dream.
She’s not the only woman I know fighting this battle. I attend at least one blogging conference every year and at each conference I meet a woman asking for advice on how to get her spouse or significant other to get on board with her goals. I want to help you with this in case you’re struggling with this, too.
There’s something special about having a birthday in the second month of the year. If you’ve had less than a happy new year, if you’ve broken resolutions or failed to accomplish your January goals, your birthday becomes your second chance. Your birthday becomes your do-over.
Today, February 9, is my birthday. Today begins my second chance at 12 months of excellence.
Today I turn 36 and as I wrote in my Write Like a Girl column for B-Metro, at first I wasn’t quite sure what to do with this new age. You see, 36 is not a milestone birthday, but it sure feels like one as it officially declares me closer to 40 than 30. Does this make me old? I wondered. Does this mean I’m “over the hill”? Was 35 “the hill”?
But, I’ve decided that only I can define the prime of my life, so, I will take 36 and have the time of my life.
Here are 36 things — both personal and professional — I want to do while I’m 36:
Last year I told my husband that I wanted to take a solo weekend writing retreat, or a “writecation,” so I could start working on the book that I hope to complete in 2017. I wanted to check myself into a hotel for a weekend and just write.
I considered booking a room at a hotel in Birmingham, but I knew I needed to get away. Otherwise, the demands of family obligations and the lures of social events with friends would be too much of a distraction.
About a month or so after having this conversation with my husband I was contacted by a representative from Hotel Finial in Anniston, Alabama. They offered me a two-night complimentary stay so I could have the writecation I’d dreamed of. But my stay at Hotel Finial exceeded anything I could have ever imagined!
I recently had the honor of writing a feature story on natural hair for the February 2017 issue of Birmingham magazine. The women I interviewed for the article — Alexis Barton, Akirashanit Byrd, and Keisa Sharpe — each had a compelling hair story to share and I hope you’ll read.
With one interviewee, fashion blogger Alexis Barton, I discussed the debate on whether or not a woman can still call her hair “natural” even if she occasionally straightens it with a tool such as a flat iron. Barton says, “To each her own, but I consider my hair to be natural because it’s not chemically relaxed.” She stressed that we must remember that a black woman’s hair isn’t always a political statement and “For some people, it truly is just hair.”
Nonetheless, Barton does believe that going natural can be a journey toward self-acceptance. It certainly was for me and even thinking about if I should straighten my hair or not helped in this process.
Back in 2012 I wrote a guest post for CurlyNikki.com on how natural hair made me a better feminist, a realization I came to after contemplating this question about flat ironing my curly tresses straight. Let’s step back in time and take a look at the post…