I know I’m late and so is this post, but HAPPY NEW YEAR!!🎊 🎆 There’s been something in mind these last couple of weeks, as I log in to my social media, I see folks everywhere claiming their testimonies and goals for 2019. They post about what they will change and who they want to become. Most of the time, it’s about how the previous year was so horrible –in the form of the “New Year, New Me” movement. It’s a new year, but the approach remains the same. Eventually, the lines at fast food restaurants will be long again, the gym will be empty again, and so on and so forth. Unfortunately, most will fall back into their old habits, while others begin to transform into an entirely new person this year. But one thing to remember about this movement, is that most of the time these resolutions come from the failures of the previous year.

But in this time of changes, I will remain the same in most aspects. So, I made up my own movement (you can borrow it, as long as you tag me lol) it’s #NewYearImprovedMe. Anyway, I did not participate in this “New Year, New Me” movement because I don’t want to train my mind to focus on a failure I need to fix immediately.  I’m just going to improve or brush up on what I already know. I don’t say this to be condescending or mock the idea or approach of a new year resolution, I just think it should be adjusted a little bit. Trust me,  I understand we may have all done things in 2018 that we are embarrassed about. Like we befriended the wrong people, found ourselves in toxic relationships, said some hurtful things to the ones we love, or even tolerated things we shouldn’t have – or whatever the case may be. However, instead of beating ourselves up over the twelve pounds we gained, or wrong things we said and did, we should focus on what we did positive in 2018 too.

In the midst of the “New Year, New Me” movement, we forget what we did right in the previous year. We push the positives aside and choose to focus on all the negative. This act can be discouraging and frustrating and with those two things involved, another failure is right around the corner. Everyone complains about what they need to change, but they forget what they don’t! Don’t become tunnel-visioned on negatives and mistakes and disregard the improvements. Here’s an idea, Why don’t you make a positivity list? Keep the positives from 2018 and add your 2019 goals for the new year on that list of positives. I agree that some things should change, but I am sure you can find things to keep around as armor for 2019’s battles.

Why become a completely new person because you’ve made a few mistakes and start over? I’m sure 2018 taught you something that could be very useful in 2019. Walking into the new year focusing on what you did wrong and not correctly, is kind of asking to make the same mistakes again. Instead, remember how you responded, what you learned, and what you can improve on the next time around. Take those lessons with you my friend. Let’s not count them out. Don’t be new, be the improved you! 😀

All I can say, is that I am grateful for 2018. I am not perfect and didn’t have a perfect year, but I can’t be harsh and not include my positives. Every year’s positives are different and worth remembering. I’m bringing the lessons learned into 2019, and I’m excited about what 2019 will teach me! #NewYearImprovedMe

I sighed and stared at the blank page staring back at me. I didn’t know where to start. It all unraveled in front of me and I scrambled to put this together piece-by-piece. There is so much to say and so many feelings. Last year, I had to kiss my track career goodbye as I competed for the last time as a Javelina in March 2018. A few days ago, I kissed my university goodbye too. I crossed the last finish line of college – graduation!

When I was growing up, I never imagined the things that I would accomplish in my future. Even if I did, my imagination would still fall short of measuring up to the success. I was the young girl who almost didn’t make it through high school and whose experienced too many downfalls, like facing death three times. I didn’t know why God kept me here, but I can tell you guys, I am starting to find out!

There were a few days I was so exhausted that I struggled to get out of bed and face another day; all from pushing myself too hard mentally and physically the previous day. I had many emotional breakdowns and shed many tears. Other times I laughed and smiled so hard that my cheeks hurt…but at no time did I give up!

In my time as a full-time student-athlete, I’ve become a nine-time All-American, national champion, the first FEMALE Sports Editor in the history of the university, received four academic awards and became the first to ever graduate in my family. What surprises me the most? Somewhere in between all of this, I’ve managed to write my first book, Perseverance Is My Power, which is available for purchase now!

I could not have done all of those things without the love and support I’ve received over the last three years. I want to thank all the people who believed in me and supported me throughout my time in college. You all know who you are. Acquiring my degree has truly been an uplifting and challenging experience. When I walked on that stage for my diploma on December 14, my victory was partially yours too.

Guess what? I even want to thank all those people who said I wouldn’t accomplish all that I have – even those people who were silently hoping I’d fail. Yup, I’m grateful for you too because your doubt of me taught me to believe in myself even if no one else did!

Ma, thank you for believing in me. You have picked me up off my knees, dusted me off, and stood me back up every single time life knocked me down. You have been the most amazing example of strength, independence, and faithfulness. You raised this beast all on your own. Now you can rest assured that you did the right thing with me because I made it Ma.

Thank you to everyone who has cheered me on, for understanding me and for giving me the confidence to stand on my own two feet.

Guys, if I can leave you with anything, I want to leave you with this; No matter what you have been through, where you come from or where you’re going, your level of success is completely up to you! Do not let your downfalls determine who you will be, ever. Do not let spitefulness and negativity get in the way of your success. While it can be hard, try your best not to focus on the negative things – but always on the positive. I am walking proof that you can do absolutely anything you put your mind to! Make all your endings into new beginnings. ❤️

I am not pure bliss

My calm often comes with the storm

I am like the sun and the ocean’s abyss

My own temperature – too cold too warm

And I’m not so sweet

I’m spicy — with a boom

Embrace me as the beauty and beast

Wherever I’m planted I fully bloom

And when I dance

I swing, pump, and roll — I’m free

I run, walk, and prance

My rhythm is like the waves of the sea

I fizzle when I’m wowed with romance

I often fall helplessly to fairytales

Every time I crumble like an avalanche

Cause I live to set my heart assail

I am not pure bliss

You can’t tame or water me down

I can’t be understood like anything around

I can be nothing else but this

Everyone experiences obstacles when working hard towards their goals. In fact, there isn’t a single person on this earth who doesn’t experience some type of obstacle or hardship in their lifetime. However, what’s important is how you respond to them! When I talk to people I am asked more often than not, how I continue to overcome obstacles in my life and career. I’m here to give you some solid advice on how you can easily overcome the hardships you’re faced with.

  1. The three P’s – pause, pray, and ponder on what makes the obstacle or hardship different and difficult. I tuck my face into a pillow or stay in my car for a few minutes and I take it all in.  I’ll probably groan and complain, but I pray while the peace is missing from my heart. For me, it is so important that I do this. This pause is my soul-cleansing. I have to release my frustration and meditate for a while before I can find the strength to move on.
  2. I self-talk and reflect. “Plazz, just take a deep breath because God will not lead you where he is not going. You’ve made it this far and you will continue.” I talk to myself. I’m not kidding, not even a little! After I’ve soaked it in, I contemplate about how I’m going to react. I eventually realize that I can not control the situation or person that may be my obstacle, but I can ONLY control myself! I simply swallow the pill that I cannot control it.
  3. The three R’s – regroup, refocus, and readjust. I learned this step after a life-threatening encounter. In 2014, I suffered from a major surgery that put my whole life on hold. I found my life slipping out of my hands but lacked the motivation to fight for it. I found myself completely helpless and depressed. I sat in the sadness and let the obstacle get the best of me. After a month of crying, catching pneumonia and then healing, I learned this step. Once I overcame this large obstacle I kept the lesson in my back pocket. I’ve implemented it when facing the smaller obstacles too. After I’ve gotten my complaining and self-talking done, I sit down and I think about how I’m going to move forward. I think this step would help anyone, but it helps me because I need to get moving quickly to re-establish my motivation. It may take a few hours or even days, but the important thing is that I refocus on my goals. Side note: If you let your obstacles distract you from what you’re trying to accomplish, you will never ever complete your goal. Keep your eyes on the prize!
  4. I take action. I take my first step around the obstacle. In life I’ve learned to not take no for an answer. I’ve also learned to not just sit down and take whatever is given to me. So I wake up a little earlier, drink my coffee, put on my game face and do something to put me back on track that day. So take your first steps, just start again after you’ve been interrupted.

For all those people who’ve wondered how I’ve done it, I hope this answers your question. What do you do when you’re faced with an obstacle?

I can’t believe I’m still alive after all I’ve been through. I’m not only physically alive but spiritually as well — and even more now than ever before. Daily, I look in the mirror and get reminded of death from a six-inch scar down my stomach and the terrorizing nightmares that sometimes replay in my mind. How could I have faced death three times? How can my own father treat me as if I don’t exist, as if I am nothing to him? How did my single mother raise two kids on her own? Why did I ever doubt God’s presence in my life? Yes, this all happened and because it didn’t kill me it only made me stronger! Now, I know I am worthy of life, love, and purpose! Now, I know there can never be light without darkness! And it is my time to shine. With the love of God, and perseverance, there is nothing I cannot and will not overcome. I pray you find happiness even when there seems to be nothing to smile about like I have. Now I see those near-death experiences and struggles as blessings. Get your copy of Perseverance Is My Power; the inspirational story of my real life. Available on Amazon now!

Perseverance Is My Power cover

Then let me explain why you SHOULD have one.

It is 2018, the height of the millennial age – businesses, professionals, and public figures are scrambling to stay one step ahead of each other. All in a market where digital savviness and technological advancements are key.

As a public relations specialist, journalist, poet, and newly found author, I’ve learned something as simple as having a website, and internet appearance could determine the success of my career. Some people think social media is enough, but I am here to tell you it is not. I could go on all day about the advantages and disadvantages of social media but for now, I will focus on what a website can do for you. A website may appear to be a small factor, but it is indeed major and necessary for various reasons.

First, a website acts as a form of identification. Without an identity, would anyone know who you are or if you exist? No. The same concept applies to you and your work. Social media cannot hold you up alone, you need a website. One place that tells all the information about you and your work. With the rapid growth in the digital market, you need to be visible online. It’s the place most success happens nowadays.

Second, a website is always available. Which means your brand or work is accessible 24/7. This allows fans, supporters, or potential customers to access your work or services at their convenience. Your success as a professional comes from being convenient and accessible. To put it simply, people look for sustainability (regardless of the field you’re in) and basically expect you to have a website.  Therefore, it is your duty to meet the expectations and demands of your potential fans, or customers to keep them coming. Otherwise, they will go elsewhere to find what they are looking for.

By the same token, a website is a form of control. Another tool I’ve learned while being in the field of public relations is that there is nothing more important than a public image. A professional and transparent public image is extremely beneficial and necessary to attract people to you and your work – for me it’s my writing of poetry, articles and books. A website allows you to have more control of your public image.

Moreover, most of the time setting up a website is completely free. So why would you not have one? Unless you wish to hire a professional website developer, the whole process is free of charge. A website brings you recognition and allows you to put in the amount of money you desire. That handles the profitability category.

If you’re still not convinced, a website is one of the best ways to stay organized, build a community and build personal relationships. In my blog posts I always try to influence people to engage with one another. This is hands-down the best way to see how my fans and supporters feel because they leave me comments or reviews.  Most people also like to interact with the poet and author behind the work they enjoy so much.

Most importantly, a website is effective marketing. With all the competition, you need to find an inexpensive but efficient way to bring brand recognition to your work. Instead of overpaying for ad spaces in magazines and papers or sending out expensive brochures – create a website. Before you know it, the website will be shared on social media networks and you’ll see results almost immediately, just like I have.

When the tunes of the anthem fill your ears,

And you see those stars and stripes.

You stand to honor your peers,

And remember tears wiped.

You remember your fight,

And relive the pain.

Armed Forces blue, red, white,

You remember the slain.

But this.

This is not your fight.

Or to defy you.

This is about what’s right.

Look what we’ve come to.

This is about us remembering a different kind of soldier.

The ones who’ve been beaten by the batons of police.

People shot dead for wearing a uniform they were born in.

So, we fall to our knees to hear their cries.

We fall to our knees to say it is WRONG.

This isn’t to disrespect troops that died.

This is about the country behind the song.

We stand for righteousness,

But kneel for it too.

This is a different kind of battle,

It’s not about you.

“Find another way to protest.”

This is the effective way,

But it’s taken out of context.

The area is grey.

When our enemies are among us

What more shall we do or say?

So, with my broken heart, I pray.

Scorned for our protest.

An ironic twist

Protests made the U.S.

So why all this?

This is not your fight soldiers and sailors.

We honor your service and love you.

It’s the country’s behaviors.

We don’t salute them, but we salute you.

Behind The Poem:

The Poem Kneel for Righteousness Stand for the Soldiers was written with the troops in the heart. Behind all the protesting, those who’ve protected us, have been hurt. I want to take the time to thank you sincerely. All my friends and family who have served, thank you. I also want you all to know, we are not protesting because we do not honor you. We are disgusted with the events of our country’s prejudice behaviors. We’ve utilized our protected rights to protests but we never told you we didn’t mean to offend you. I apologize on the behalf of all. I hope you can forgive us and identify the racial issue at hand.

Perceptual Plazz The Poet


Soldiers kneelingblacklivesmatterPolice brut1Police brutPolice brut 3

Dream deferred

“What happens to a dream deferred?”

It became life as I know, Mr. Hughes.

It flew and soared like a bird.

I came to tell you the news.

I’m a credible source.

You and I wear the same shoes.

At times, it was desiccated.

Dry, like Arizona desert sand.

But now it’s hydrated.

A dream blacks did demand.

It used to be a bubbling sore

Or the pain of a deep wound.

But it is stiff, and hard as a floor.

It is bold and fine-tuned.

In the early 1900s blacks could only dream

Of what we now can do.

I know in your time it’d never seem

But I tell you it’s true.

The dream is candied.

I wish you could live now to see

It doesn’t smell like rotten meat.

Oh, how I wish you could see.

Racism still boldly exists.

Some souls still hate us.

But our dreams weren’t dismissed

They shine and don’t rust.

There is discrimination.

There is still prejudice.

But we have determination.

We hold up our black fists!

Mr. Hughes, it didn’t explode.

I’m saying it happened.

Mr. Hughes, it didn’t erode.

It’s the dream you imagined.