Best Of Me – Tyrese

Dear Diary,

One of the greatest feelings is being able to be yourself. Not be judged and feel as though you have to hide parts of yourself. It’s easy to slip into your comfort zone. It’s also easy to close yourself off. Block people out, because you feel you don’t really belong. The time you feel you can be yourself is when you’re home alone. You can say what you want and do what you want. Just be completely comfortable. When the time comes you can be that person in front of someone else. That is when you’ve got something amazing. You can be you and not suddenly feel dumb or embarrassed. What makes it even better, is when that person brings more things out of you that you never even thought you could do. Even enhance it. That’s the people that keep you going and those are the people that need to stick around. They can bring out the best of you and so much more.

Written By: @AmaniVHenry

Inspired By: Best Of Me – Tyrese

Instagram & Facebook: @AmaniVHenry

Hope – Emeli Sande

Dear Diary,

Hope is powerful. It takes up so much of your heart, even when you say you’re going to give up on it. It takes hold of you. It’s in everything you do and everything you see. You hope things will get better, you hope you will succeed, you positive things will last, you hope relationships will last. You hope there’s no discrimination, greed and endangerment to so many people. There’s a lot of hope seeping through us. Even when feeling defeated, don’t give up because things will and can turn around for the better. This world we live in has the good, bad, and everything in-between. Sometimes it feels like the bad out-ways the good, and we feel we should back down. We shouldn’t. We shouldn’t feel intimidated by it, because all it takes is one person’s hope and strength to head us in a better direction. When that hope combined together!! We can make so many changes. It’s already been done, so we’ve got to keep putting it forward. It’s an uphill battle but it’s worth the climb. I hope we can do better. I hope we can be better. I hope one day there will be more good that overtakes the bad.

Written By: @AmaniVHenry

Inspired By: Hope – Emeli Sande

Instagram & Facebook: @AmaniVHenry

Thank you from Amani!

Hi! I just wanted to say a huge thank you for all those that follow my blog and giving such positive responses. It’s great to see how much of us can relate to one another and I can feel good expressing myself on The Amani Diaries. I’ve taken it a step further and doing video diaries. These will be based off the written entries I will continue to add on the site. I felt this adds a more personal touch. NOW listen, I’m not the greatest talker but I just want to get the discussions going and continue to grow with you all! The setting is more in the evening before you go to bed so I’ve got the nightwear, the tea, the laidback vibe. This is because when we may write in our diaries we tend to do it at the end of the day as we’re looking back at all that’s happened. If you don’t write in a diary you tend to have thousands of things racing in your mind just before you go to bed! Thank you again for sticking with me!

The Entry below is: Stand By Me – Ben E King

Walk in my Shoes – Anthony Hamilton

Dear Diary,

There’s a lot of things we don’t know about the next person. What they’ve been through. What their thoughts are. Or may be they do make it known but we don’t understand why they have certain thoughts. We shouldn’t just assume. They may not know about me. Walking a mile in each other’s shoes can make some of the unknown more visible. You begin to understand why people do the things they may do or have particular views. If you take the time to fully understand then it’s a step forward into something better. We’ve got to give each other a chance. We may still not agree with why some people’s actions but at least you’ve taken that time to really look. In most cases our different thoughts and opinions is an insight to try amend and support one another for the better. We can head in a better direction together. Leaving no one behind, in our own shoes because we know what values they have to us.

Written By: @AmaniVHenry

Inspired By: Anthony Hamilton – Walk in my shoes

Instagram, Facebook & Twitter: @AmaniVHenry

Crown – Chika

Dear Diary,

It’s easy to give up on your goals. It’s easy to give up on getting what you really want. Why go through the exhaustion and need to maintain that enthusiasm, when there’s going to be all those challenges and people telling you you can’t? Well, that’s simply because you can. You can reach your goals. You can get what you want and we may not even know what we really want for years to come but when we do, we’ve got to go get it! Look, I’m not saying that we will accomplish every goal but at least we CAN say we put in everything!! It doesn’t make those people that said you couldn’t do it right. (I mean to an extent it does). BUT the fact of the matter is you ignored them and still went for it despite all the obstacles. That only makes you stronger to go for the next goal!! No one can stop you as this elevator is only going up! And when we reach wherever it is we plan on getting the view is going to look pretty good! We’ve gotta do right by ourselves and give ourselves the opportunity to explore all our options and be proud. We will have our own doubts and sleepless nights going over the things we wish we did or fear of not knowing is coming next, but our strength will get us through it. Whether it’s with a good group of people around you that only lift you higher or you lifting yourself higher no matter what! We shouldn’t let anyone take our crown, best believe we earned it!

Written By: @AmaniVHenry

Inspired By: Crown – Chika

Instagram, Facebook & Twitter: @AmaniVHenry

Photo courtesy: @nicolbiesekphoto

July – Noah Cyrus feat. Leon Bridges

Dear Diary,

There are relationships that we tiptoe around. We try not to react at certain things and be careful of what we do because we don’t want it to fall apart. Or do we? Change is a big thing and we don’t always want to make it. We get comfortable in relationships we know we don’t want to be a part of or know we shouldn’t be a part of. As this is all you know and having to start again can be a long and difficult process. So we stick around going over the same thing. In the back of our minds we are hoping something will happen to be seen as such a huge reason to part ways or for them to even say something because and you will be happy to go because you have been ready. You may not want to be the one to be seen as breaking up the relationship. But why should you feel shame in leaving something that’s not working? If you’re not enough to try and work things out then it’s better to go through the long process of meeting someone new. At least then you’ll feel better about it. There’s no point lying to yourself because you know the truth.

Written By: @AmaniVHenry

Inspired By: July – Noah Cyrus feat. Leon Bridges

Instagram, Facebook & Twitter: @AmanVHenry

Photo Credit: Andrew Lipovsky/NBC

Rise Up – Andrea Day

Dear Diary,

When we fall sometimes we feel there’s no point to get back up. You get tired. You get frustrated, but that’s fine! It’s all a part of it. The reason we get back up is because we are strong despite us not thinking it at the time or even other people. We must not underestimate ourselves. Everything is NOT going to go as planned. It’s just how it goes. We may put our all into it and it doesn’t work out. That’s no fault of yours in believing in yourself. Some things just don’t work out. So the next thing to do is work on something else that does or go at it from another angle! When you don’t succeed at one thing we shouldn’t class it as a failure just a lesson to learn from and the tools to go for the next thing. Now there are mountains we will climb to get to where we want to go and when we reach the top the view will be worth all the sweat and tears. We will rise up and when we do it’s gonna be a sight to see.

Written By: @AmaniVHenry

Inspired By: Rise Up – Andrea Day

Instagram, Facebook & Twitter: @AmaniVHenry

Recording artist Andra Day poses for a photo in Atlanta, Jan. 24, 2016.

Something’s Got To Give – Labrinth

Dear Diary,

I spoke about self love and it really had me thinking about how time never sleeps. So we’ve got to insure that in the time we have is spent on the things that really matter to us. We give our all into everything but all of it doesn’t deserve it. There’s so many things we wish to do and we may not get to do it all, but the ones we can we need to stop pushing it aside. There are certain circumstances people are in where it’s tricky to make certain decisions but if you can gain complete control, make the choice you want to make. Go for it! Something’s got to give in order for you to feel that more in control. That bit happier. That bit free from feeling shattered. Or even stuck in the sunken place. (Yes I saw Get Out) haha. No seriously, I’m giving up something I don’t need for something I do, because this is my time and I’m not about to waste it.

Written By: @AmaniVHenry

Inspired By: Something’s Got To Give – Labrinth

Instagram, Facebook & Twitter: @AmaniVHenry

Photo Credit: Used in article – unaware of photographer at this time

Self Love – Ari Lennox, Bas, Dreamville

Dear Diary,

Everyone has responsibilities. Their things that need to be taken care of, people that need to be taken care of. There’s that feeling of having to be on the ball as you can’t afford to drop it. All of this weight put on is only pressure that’s building up. We know what happens when there’s too much pressure. But it’s a risk that many are willing to take. The need to make sure everything else is okay is fine, but what about YOU. It’s so easy to lose yourself in someone or something because you don’t want to face… YOU. There are many reasons why someone choses to avoid themselves and make it seem as though they have it all together. But in reality they don’t, simply because they haven’t taken the time for themselves. Take care of yourself. Love yourself. You CAN do it all and that includes adding yourself in the equation. It can be hard at times thinking you can’t afford to do that but you CAN! Start with something small, as looking in the mirror and saying. “I see you. I hear you. I love you.” Then work on what you want and need to take care of for YOU and never think you’re are not worth the thought, energy, or time because YOU deserve it all! Self Love, is the best LOVE!

Written By: @AmanVHenry

Inspired By: Self Love – Ari Lennox, Bas, Dreamville

As I Am – H.E.R.

Dear Diary,

When we finally get comfortable with who we are, what we do, and our surroundings. The last thing we want is for someone to try and change it. Now, I’m all for trying new things and getting out of my comfort zone, because it can be beneficial to you or even eye-opening. It’s when it’s being forced upon you, that’s where I have a problem. I always try to see why they may want me to change, but they never try to see it from my point of view. Of what it may cost me. Someone else may do it for them, doesn’t mean I would do the same. Putting pressure on me is only going to push me further away and I may become defensive, and why wouldn’t I, It’s about me. We may need to compromise, but I’m not willing to go as far as erasing everything I’ve worked for to get me to who I am and where I am just because it will make someone else feel better. I deserve to feel good about myself. There will be things that will be beyond my control when it comes to some changes, but when I’m in control you better believe I’ll do what I want for me.

Written By: @AmaniVHenry

Inspired By: As I Am – H.E.R.

Instragram, Facebook & Twitter: @amanivhenry

Safe Haven – Ruth B.

Dear Diary,

There are people that we look up to, admire, and respect. Their actions and things they say can really impact you in a way that makes you feel that bit better about yourself and the world around you. It can be a scary world at times but knowing you can look to these people especially when you need them the most it gives you that bit of strength or boost that you need. We can do some things on our own but we also need someone. It doesn’t necessarily need to be someone you know personally. When you stand for the same thing, going through a similar situation or want to achieve the same goal, you can form this connection. They become your safe haven. It’s amazing how many times you can help a person without even knowing you have. People say ‘watch what you say and do because people are watching ‘and that’s right more now than ever before. If it’s towards something that requires attention or change. Do what needs to be done, especially if you are willing to do just that despite the backfire. We’ve already seen what past strengths can do that’s moved us forward to where we are today. Sure there’s more work to be done but it’s getting done. So thank you to all those that continue to try and we also need to remember as much as we need them they need us to. We can be their safe haven. It’s ok for all of us not to be ok. Thank you to those that have allowed me to take a step towards having more courage, strength, and belief in myself or even just made me laugh at the moment I needed to.

Written By: @AmaniVHenry

Inspired By: Safe Haven – Ruth B.

– Instagram, Facebook & Twitter: @amanivhenry

Consideration – Rihanna

Dear Diary,

There are a lot of people who are not considerate enough to let you be YOU. They try to hold you down, refusing to let you grow and exceed your full potential. They may be doing it out of their fear and insecurities, not giving themselves a chance. So why should we get that chance? Simple, because we deserve it. We all do. Instead of dragging each other down, we need to be lifting each other up, face those fears and insecurities together, be considerate of the obstacles that are already being faced, and not adding unnecessary glitter on top. (Yes I said glitter because… it get messy). The unfortunate thing is, this is part of the long-standing vicious cycle we get caught in. We can break away from it by lifting ourselves up and doing it our own way, especially if the people around us won’t. It will be hard but we deserve that respect, eventually, we’ll be able to be around the people that will consider us for who we are no matter what. This is the positive cycle. It’s out there and just as strong and it’s growing, just as we will be. At least we’ll have that peace of mind knowing we did what you needed to do for US.

Support, Live, Love, Laugh, we can even happy cry together.

Written By: @AmaniVHenry

Inspired By: Consideration By Rihanna

– Instagram, Facebook & Twitter: @amanivhenry

Photo Credit: Paolo Roversi

Saved – Khalid

Dear Diary,

When checking in on people, I’ll sometimes find myself slowly scrolling through my contact list, then hovering over specific names. These names being the ones I haven’t deleted yet. They should be long gone by now, but there they are full name, number, birthday, address, favourite colour, and everything. I joke. Somewhat. They’re still there mainly because of that tiny bit of hope that they may message or call, or I’ll message or call. I mean, enough time has passed. So, if it hasn’t happened by now, it’s most unlikely to but, they could be in the same predicament. Or I’m the only one thinking this, and my number was long deleted. I guess you’ll never know until you try, at least then I’ll know for sure. Look there’s nothing wrong with missing someone and there’s also nothing wrong with finally pressing that delete button. There’s no point being hung up on someone behind me when there’s many more in front.

Written By: @AmaniVHenry

Inspired By: Saved By Khalid

– Instagram, Facebook & Twitter: @amanivhenry

Photo Credit: Erik Madigan Heck—Trunk Archive

Reach Out I’ll Be There – Four Tops

Dear Diary,

During these times of uncertainty, the mental health of many people around the world is extremely uncertain. The new lifestyle and job uncertainties will be an addition to the preexisting challenges that are being faced. There are a dozen questions that have no answers just yet. The most common question being; When will this subside? 

The one question I will be getting an answer too is, ‘How Are You?’ We’ve got to keep checking in on one another. No matter if the person we’re reaching out to is not living by themselves. It helps to see that support is still there. We are not going through this alone and I have myself taken care of. It’s a continuous chain that shouldn’t break, especially now. So when I’m reaching out, I’m letting them know they can continue to reach out to me whenever they need to, as I’ll be right there. Just as before and after all this has subsided. The mental health of all is important. YOU are valued. This needs to be felt through tough and good times. No matter the outcome we’ll work through it together.

Written By: @AmaniVHenry

Inspired By: Reach Out I’ll Be There by Four Tops

– Instagram, Facebook & Twitter: @amanivhenry

In My Feelings – Drake

Dear Diary,

It’s amazing how much we can really get into our feelings. Sometimes it comes out of nowhere… then again it does come from somewhere. We don’t always want to admit it to ourselves but our subconscious doesn’t mess around because when it’s ready to take over it will release all that feeling that’s being suppressed. Sometimes we feel stupid for being in our feelings. Which we shouldn’t. We tell ourselves or are told to just get over it but in order to do that we’ve got to feel it and even then it may take time to embrace that feeling. If we don’t acknowledge our feelings it will consume us. There may be a “Place and Time” for that but when your feelings become that overwhelming it doesn’t matter and quite frankly your mind and body don’t care. So before we unravel, we need to feel whatever it is at that moment at least then you can deal with it better. We should never try to turn people away for how they are feeling as we all react different and just because we may not find it significant it is to them and visa versa. We can do a lot just by listening to each other and ourselves.

Written By: @AmaniVHenry

Inspired By: In My Feelings By Drake

Instagram & Twitter: @amanivhenry

Photo Credit: Madison McGaw/BFA.com/REX/Shutterstock`

All Day Long – Chance The Rapper

Dear Diary,

You know what can be exhausting? Trying to please everyone. We change ourselves through the things we say, things we do, hold back, grin and bear it and forget that one simple fact: WE CAN’T PLEASE EVERYONE. It’s like walking on eggshells! Not that I would ever do that but that’s why it’s called a metaphor. We all have our thoughts and opinions and the way we do things that are not ALWAYS going to be the same. I’ve had that moment I’ve “slipped up” being myself and it was seen as ME not being OKAY. Or ME not being MYSELF. Errr. It’s me but I forgot I had that more acceptable version of myself on. Look the first person I should be focusing on pleasing is myself. The person I see in the mirror everyday, the person I have to live with everyday, the person I have to hear complaints or feel some type of way at the end of the day.

Some of the things I used to do for people was me seeking acceptance until I realised I wasn’t going to get the respect I deserved. The way I acted in specific places was because I didn’t want to be seen as part of a stereotype. The thing is I never gave myself the opportunity to let whoever would accept me for me a chance. It can be tough in certain circumstances. I get that but if we really don’t have to hide who we are… we shouldn’t! And I’ve seen it for a while now and sometimes you can do everything and it’s still not enough! We all know this brave talk can be tough in particular surroundings. All I know is whoever else is out there trying to please somebody that’s not being seen. I get it and I get them, but this cycle needs to slow its roll!!!

Written By: @AmaniVHenry

Inspired By: All Day Long by Chance The Rapper

Instagram & Twitter: @AmaniVHenry

Chance the Rapper, photo by Nolis Anderson