I had the great privilege of joining Arianna Huffington, HuffPost's editor-in-chief, at the 2016 Commencement Ceremony of my alma mater, Hunter College. Arianna gave the keynote address and was given the President's Medal by Hunter College President, Jennifer Raab.
We did it right. We met in college, we got married, we bought a house, and we got a Yorkie. We had arrived with our Master's degrees and six-figure salaries in hand -- we had it all. But we were miserable. We were absolutely miserable.
Little kink haired girl, you inspire me. Sitting with your texturally diverse friends while wearing your puffs and braids with casual confidence makes me feel so proud. When I was your age, I didn't know my hair. I only knew my relaxer.
I love my thick brown hair that my grandfather had, that my father had, and that my son has. I love my big breasts. They have nourished my children. They are beautiful. I love my freckles and my curves. My body survives.
For me, life is about experiences. We all have to dream, strive, and fail before we can achieve success. Maybe we'll discover along the way that the journey is more important than the destination.
Here are nine reasons to say yes to opportunity in your life:
With a busy career as an actress on "Orange Is the New Black," my life sometimes feels more out of control than ever. At the same time, I know that the opposite is also true: That I am the captain of my ship; I am the master of my fate. And I would never have known that if it were not for my hair.
Your 20s are your selfish years and it's a decade where you immerse yourself in everything around you and the world out there. Ensure you are selfish with your time, look after yourself, pay attention to your mental health and love the people who are important to you.
I'm officially in my 40s. I'm surrounded by teenagers. And I'm tired of fetuses on the internet telling me what to do. Some woman-child who thinks she's all grown up is going to tell me what I can't wear anymore because I'm too old? Seriously. F*ck that noise.
My husband didn't want our daughters to grow up thinking that they had to have permed hair to feel beautiful and accepted. He wanted them to see that they could be beautiful with all of the style and grace that God gave them.
Now, over to you, have you been putting your own happiness on the back burner? Have you tried paying more attention to what makes you happy? What impact has it had on others around you? Please share in the comments!
Without the love I have found with my future spouse, all of the wedding-related things and experiences wouldn't bring an ounce of joy. The root of my happiness is Craig and our commitment -- not the tangible items.
There may have been highlights, such as a wedding, birth, or some other special event that has really left a positive impression. But what about the bigger picture? If you could look back at your life on your 100th birthday, what would you tell others are the secrets to a good life?
Your body is perfect, just as it is. You don't need to lose weight, or tighten up your tummy, or pop out your butt in order to have a perfect beach body. You already have the perfect beach body. You are divine, feminine perfection.
When she got to high school, she was bullied during her freshman year. High school girls are the worst. They whispered she was a lesbian, and I figured they were right. I didn't care. She was my Maddy. That's all that mattered.