I Like That – Janelle Monáe

Dear Diary,

It’s important for us to be who we are despite what others say and what they think. We have all these insecurities thinking about how others will react and do whatever we think they’d prefer. Keep quiet, Dress a certain way, Speak a certain way, follow what they are doing, don’t show what you really think or feel. FORGET THAT! We need to do what makes us happy, because clearly by hiding ourselves away it’s not making us feel any better. I may still not feel completely comfortable in my own skin at times but then I remember I deserve better and not everyone is going to like you. It’s just how it goes unfortunately, but as long as I like me at least I can say I lived staying true to who I was because of me and not what anyone else tried to do to change me. Like what you like. Do what you want to do. Express yourself the way you want to. Instead of people having such negative opinions about you they should focus on themselves because clearly they feel some kind of way when you’re confident with who you are.

Written By: @AmaniVHenry

Inspired By: I Like That – Janelle Monae

Instagram: @AmaniVHenry

Photo Credit: Stephane Cardinale – Corbis/Corbis

Truth Hurts

Dear Diary,

The truth hurts sometimes. It could be why we don’t always want to hear it. I’ve opened up to listen to others, even if they include me. I’ve learned to own my truth and express it. Expressing it can take some time, but that’s ok like I said, it hurts sometimes. What I’ve also learned to remember is that when your truth includes others, and they respond being in complete denial, it means they are not ready to face it themselves. So I accept the truth and leave them until they are ready. It’s not worth delaying your healing time for them. They may come around a few hours later or years. The truth is sometimes we want to finally hear them admit or see how they came to the truth it may not be complete closure but at least you know they’ve been open to really see it.

Written By: @AmaniVHenry

Inspired By: Truth Hurts – Lizzo

Instagram: @AmaniVHenry

Photo Credit: lizzo-press-2018-cr-Jabari-Jacobs

Forgive You – Leon Bridges

Dear Diary,

Forgiveness can be difficult, depending on how extreme the situation is, although we may see the extremity differently. I may forgive someone for something that another person would never be able too. I can forgive someone that’s made a few times for minor mistakes. I mean, we all make mistakes. When I look back at the mistakes I’ve have been forgiven for, I don’t take that it for granted.
When someone makes the same mistakes multiple times, it’s no longer a mistake in my eyes. How can I forgive someone who is deliberately going to hurt me? We shouldn’t let it slide and come up with excuses for them. The number of times we’ve discussed it and tried to move forward. We are just going backward. Then there are the people I didn’t even know. They crashed into my life and hurt me, the people I care about physically or mentally. How do I forgive them? These are the moments of difficulty. There is so much energy that is taken up when you hold a grudge. There is so much energy used when you hang on to anger. There is so much sadness bleeding into your heart. It’s exhausting. I chose to forgive certain people because it frees me a bit. I can move forward a bit, and I can feel a little lighter. I do it for me, not for them. and they don’t have to know. It doesn’t take away the pain, and not everyone will understand it. I’m taking back the energy I would have lost and put it into something better. Something worth it. Make a change for myself, for others who need to get out from under the grey clouds.

Written By: @AmaniVHenry

Inspired By: Forgive You – Leon Bridges

Instagram: @AmaniVHenry

Photo Credit: Jack McKain / Courtesy of the artist

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

What Becomes of the Brokenhearted – Jimmy Ruffin

Dear Diary,

What becomes of the brokenhearted? I’ll answer that for ya. A whole lot of pain! It hurts so bad! (Crying face emoji). Seriously it does and what do we end up doing? We put up this barrier that makes it more and more difficult for others to break THAT down. Despite what someone has said or done, we need to try and not live with such a high barrier. Do you know how many people I’ve keep at barely even arms length because I was too afraid they’ll be like the person before? Then it turns out they would have been good for me. I know we want to protect ourselves from pain, but pain is inevitable. It comes in all shapes and sizes and at different times. And it can come from anyone. This is not me being negative. It’s me not trying to hide away from the fact that as many times I’ve been walking around with a broken heart I’ve discarded the people that would have been willing to try to mend it. Now once a broken heart is broken it can’t be fixed completely, the scars will always be there. We shouldn’t use it as an excuse to take that pain out on other’s. We are all brokenhearted, it’s what we do with that broken heart to gain some peace of mind that things will get better and there will be less heartbreak and more heart mending. (Get it!). I know we’ve got to feel the pain but feel it whilst keeping the things or those around you that are there to mend it.

Written By: @AmaniVHenry

Inspired By: What Becomes of the Brokenhearted – Jimmy Ruffin

Instagram & Facebook: @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

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

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

Hurts – Emeli Sande

Dear Diary,

We tolerate a lot. We have a lot of patience too. You may see people in the street (When there were people out) that loose their patience quickly and that’s not because they’re are impatient… well they are… BUT it’s what they’ve gone through to reach to that point. You see when we tolerate so much it’s only up to an extent. We are not made of stone and even if we were we can be thrown away. The people we keep accepting the hurt they put us through, don’t seem to realise one day we will have had enough and leave. It doesn’t have to be for good but like the saying “You don’t know what you have until it’s gone.” Does apply in this situation. We know exactly who we continue to put us through so much and still stand by. It’ll be great if they also realised it and stop taking advantage. I don’t want to be taking it out on anyone else. Diary if you think I haven’t tried to say something about how I’m feeling the response is mostly that ‘I’m complaining.’ or they apologise and it goes right back into the same thing. The question now is Do you care that much for them to stay or Do you care that much for yourself to leave?

Written By: @AmaniVHenry

Inspired By: Hurts By Emeli Sande

Instagram & Twitter: @amanivhenry

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



I Do – Aloe Blacc

Dear Diary,

If we’ve taken the time to really reflect whilst staying at home, we’ll begin to realise all the things taken for granted. I mean the majority of the time it takes something overwhelming for us to open our eyes (I’m sure there’s many that would say ‘My eyes have always been open’) 😀 and that may be true but unfortunately it takes time for people to get on the same page. They may be slow readers, a picture book kind of person or a turned into a TV Show/Movie kind of person either way they’ll get there and some may even throw the book away. (Let’s get back on track) What I’m getting at what we need to take away is appreciation. Appreciation for the family and friends in our lives. Appreciation for the work people do or are doing to help those that really need it. Appreciation for yourself! And despite the fear and sadness (We’ve had our moments for various reasons) we shouldn’t be afraid to smile and keep others smiling. Spirits are low but we can take it higher. As we are all in it just simply saying I Do.

Written By: @AmaniVHenry

Inspired By: I Do By Aloe Blacc

Instagram & Twitter: @AmaniVHenry