What is your definition of a phenomenal woman?
I would like to say that every woman was crafted to be phenomenal but I think the phenomenal part comes from not just accepting that but building upon it.  A phenomenal woman is the one who strives, who not only does the hard work but takes on the impossible work, who not only raises one child but raises an entire classroom, who doesn’t raise a son but rather a King.  The definition of a phenomenal woman is a woman who designates herself to improving the quality of her life and the lives that surround her.

Who would you say are phenomenal women of the past?
It’s hard to say they’re of the past because their contributions are so current and relevant but a few that come to mind quickly are Ms. Greenan, my third grade teacher, Ms. Faulkner, my dean of students in high school, Ms. Mazzo, my cheerleading coach, Zora Neale Hurston, Angela Bassett, Etta James, Coretta Scott King, Phyllis Scott Wheatley and Ms. Harriet Tubman. 

Who are your role models?
Shonda Rhimes, Nikki Giovanni, Whitney Houston, and my grandmother.  I am in love with honesty and raw emotion.  The four women that I mentioned have managed to bring the hardest emotions to the big screen, on stage and in my own house.  They have a way of revealing the truth without worrying about anything else besides helping you see the light!

What do you think makes you a phenomenal woman?
I didn’t consider myself phenomenal until I read this sentence.  That’s a heavy word and I still have so much work left to do and now that I think about it, maybe that’s what makes me phenomenal.  I am forever working to be a better person.  I feel like I research everything that empowers the mind, body and soul and I try really hard to incorporate those things into my life.  Getting knocked down and losing things and people that matter so much to me doesn’t stop me from trying to find and apply the lesson because there’s always a lesson.  That sounds more phenomenal than it feels though.

If you were to write a letter to your future daughter, what would be three important pieces of advice you would give her?
I already have a daughter so I try to instill in her three huge concepts that I know she won’t get until she’s a little older.  1. Don’t cry over anything you can buy back, you’ll need those tears for something much more important. 2.  Answer the question that is asked of you and nothing more.  There’s more power in listening than yapping.  3. Slow down.  I can’t say that enough.  She goes a mile a minute and if you don’t create a pause in your life, God will and you most certainly will not enjoy His way of telling you to SIT DOWN.

What are three mistakes you made in life, but have learned from that have made you into a better woman today?
Only three?! There’s a thin line between a mistake and a bad decision so pardon me if I give you both.  To begin, I spent money frivolously for a while.  Bad move.  Even though no one can anticipate the shift in the economy, saving is always necessary. You never know what’s going to happen.  No safety net is too big. 2. I didn’t go to church enough.  I heard this quote saying “people don’t go to the hospital because they’re healthy.  They go because they’re sick.  Same thing with church; the people there need it the most.” And I can say that I’m one of those people that need structure and reminders of my purpose, my relationships and my faith so I should have been in church a lot more than I was.  3. I had unprotected sex before.  That’s teetering on the line of mistakes and bad decision making for the simple fact that the dangers are so real even though what you have with that person isn’t.  
Those circumstances have built me into a better woman because I have way more respect and value for my future.  I could have been in poverty, I could have been dancing with the devil and I could have had AIDS – all of those things surmount to the fact that I could have been dead and I’m not.  I’m healthy, I’m saving and I’m faithful to a being higher than myself.  So when situations happen where I could make those same mistakes/bad decisions again, I haven’t (yet) because I’m aware that I’m so far from where I could have been that I have no interest in going back.

You have dreams, where would you say that you are in completing those dreams?
When I was a little girl, I had dreams of being a writer and that’s who I am now.  So instead of dreams, I have plans.  I plan to finish my first novel this month and it’s nearing completion.  The perfectionist in me keeps pulling me back but the phenomenal in me keeps pushing forward.  See what I did there?  After that, I plan to keep fostering ideas of self worth and personal growth in young women.  It’s important to that I share what phenomenal feels like.

Finally - Back to letters, if you were going to write one to your younger self, what would it say and why?
Stop asking for bigger boobs, because you’ll get them when you’re pregnant and you’ll hate them.  You will always have work to do, especially on yourself.  That does not mean that you ignore the perfection in which you were created from.  Everything you need is inside of you so searching for acceptance and love anywhere else will only tire you out.  Save that energy for the journey.  Many men will love you and you will love them too but you’ll only end up with the one you actually believe, which makes the others no less true in their admiration for you.  It just means that you weren’t ready yet.  You’re a late bloomer, you always have been and you probably always will be.  That’s fine.  When you take your time, it gives people the chance to anticipate your blooming and when you bloom, girl it will be a sight to see.  Some things will hurt you, haunt you and terrorize you, but none of those things have the power to kill you.  Stop procrastinating when it comes to your success and your own healing.  Today is the day to feel better.  Today is the day you can stop being ashamed about yesterday.  You are stronger than you can imagine right now but do yourself a favor and act accordingly anyway.  Oh and the girl your ex cheats on you with?  She deserves him.  Trust me.

To find out more about this beautiful, but more Phenomenal Woman, please visit her site, Virgin Fingertips.
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