A letter from a mentee

I received the most beautiful email today from a young lady I mentored when she was journalism student at Texas Southern University. She's now a working journalist:

Hi, Joy!

I hope that all is going well for you. I just wanted to reach out and say how much I'm enjoying your ‪#‎YearOfJoy‬ project. I read Shonda Rhimes' book on NYE and decided that I was going to improve my quality of life, too.

I've done a couple big things, but a big part of my #YearOfJoy was leaving my first job of almost four years. I gave my two weeks notice last week. I'm not sure if I fell out of love with what I was doing or if I was just in a toxic environment that made what I was doing miserable. I'm still trying to figure that part out.

Anywho, I say all that to tell you (again) that I really enjoy your #YearOfJoy project. It's a constant reminder to me that it's never too late to change your mind. When you move in joy, life has a wonderful way of working things out. The best is yet to come!

Have a great day!

Why I posed proudly in a bikini

I wore a bikini and was photographed in it. I know for some of you that’s not a big thing. But before this trip, there existed in the world only one photo of me in a bikini. It was taken when I was 24 years old. My girlfriend grabbed the blanket I was hiding in and snapped a photo. This time in the Dominican Republic, I posed proudly. Cellulite, love handles and all.

I wore a bikini and was photographed in it. I know for some of you that’s not a big thing. But before this trip, there existed in the world only one photo of me in a bikini. It was taken when I was 24 years old. My girlfriend grabbed the blanket I was hiding in and snapped a photo. This time in the Dominican Republic, I posed proudly.

Cellulite, love handles and all.

Looking forward to the Super Bowl

I've been selected to be on the media committee for the Houston Super Bowl Host Committee, which is the organization in charge of the Super Bowl in Houston in2017. Not sure what it means, but it sounds pretty cool.  Last time the Super Bowl was in Houston, I was covering it for People magazine. Let's just say, Janet Jackson's nipple-gate kept me very busy.

I've been selected to be on the media committee for the Houston Super Bowl Host Committee, which is the organization in charge of the Super Bowl in Houston in2017. Not sure what it means, but it sounds pretty cool.  Last time the Super Bowl was in Houston, I was covering it for People magazine. Let's just say, Janet Jackson's nipple-gate kept me very busy.

Writing that touches my soul

I wanted to write more articles that touched my heart. Not that there’s anything wrong with writing about fall fashion trends,  the latest beauty products or fitness workouts. But I needed more stories that connected with my spirit.

I recently wrote about a young woman with a white father and black mother who was adopted as an infant by a white one-armed gay man, raised in Vider, Texas (known for its KKK ties). He did when she was 7 and was told her mother was dead too. She didn’t learn she black until college when she had three black roommates. They supporter her when met black mother who for the first time 10 years ago. That woman was my friend and I met her daughter at when the women was dying of cancer in hospice. Their mother-daughter bond, in spite of everything, was amazing. I was honored to share their story with the world.

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What happened after I rear ended a car

Here's why I'm celebrating a ‪#‎yearofjoy‬:

I had a car accident today. First one in 20 years.Totally my fault. I rear ended a little sedan. There was much traffic and construction. I got out to see the damage. So did the driver, an older gentleman. I asked if we could exchange insurance info. He kept looking at his car, which had a significant bumper dent.

"Don't worry about it. I can fix," he said about his car.

I started babbling on about how sorry I was and how I was rushing to an event and didn't see him.

"No, really. I can fix it. Don't worry," he said.

I asked if I could give him a hug. So on busy Galleria street, I hugged the driver of the car I had rear ended. I thanked him about 20 times. He got in his car and drove off.

I drove off in my 14-year-old SUV, which now makes a loud noise when I turn right, and I cried happy tears.

Flashback Friday: When I got Coveteur'd

#‎FF‬ When I agreed to have a team of strangers from Canada and London take over my home for The Coveteur in 2013. I didn't realize then what a big deal it was to be featured. The international style site has profiled Kelly Rowland, Oprah Winfrey and Rachel Roy in their closets.

I had friends who helped me get it together - Andrea Bonner and Sydney Dao (with styling) Melissa Aguilar (with flowers) Edward Sanchez (makeup/hair). I remember Edward whispered to me while doing my makeup, "Who are these people?" I answered, "I don't know."

It was a pretty amazing experience and was the catalyst for me meeting Julee A. Wilson, who wrote an awesome and very glamorous profile of me for the Huffington Post.

I'm sharing because blessings come when you least expect them. That's what I've learned. Have a great weekend. #yearofjoy

Click here to read my Coveteur feature.

And click to read my Huffington Post feature.

 

When someone tries to steal your joy

A few weeks ago, I attended an elegant event and ended up talking with a woman I had met a few months earlier. She was wearing a fantastic designer lace dress, but said the man she was with didn't approved. In fact, he asked her if she had planned to go home and change before they had arrived. He thought it was too tight and sexy for a woman of a "certain age." (It was neither.)

I asked her to point him out to me. As I suspected, he wasn't a looker, not that good looks matter when you're an ass. So, I turned to her and told her she looked beautiful and hot in the dress, and he was stupid. I wanted to punch him in the nose, but she said it wasn't necessary.

She also said it wasn't the first time he had criticized her appearance and made her feel less than. So, I asked her why was she with him.

"Good question," she said.

"You deserve better. We all do," I said.

The next day, she sent me an email to thank me. ‪#‎yearofjoy‬