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The Stranger Who Set Me On My Path To Freedom

The entire fourth quarter of 2017 challenged me mentally, spiritually, physically and financially. The disappointments I suffered were heartbreaking and downright difficult to work through. On top of all the real-life issues, I ended the year stricken with food poisoning. Awful, right?! But thanks to God, I got through all of it. I, however, cannot pretend those difficulties did not have an effect on the way I viewed life.  I started to question everything…like why I was spending so much time on social media, or why my friends deemed it “refreshing” when I called them to talk about nothing, or why I was so bogged down with things that absolutely had no value.

I started limiting my time on social media. I spent more time FaceTiming my family and friends just to see them laugh. It brought me joy. I went to bed early and just binged on The Carmichael Show (I AM Joe Carmichael most days). I thought easing into the bushes (Homer Simpson) and out of sight would somehow make me a better person. Then I went to Atlanta with Darius (my lovah) & something extraordinary happened…

I was standing with Darius smiling and talking to people after he had finished singing at one of his childhood churches. The pastor walked up to me and said: “you let rejection trap you.” I froze. All the hiding I was able to do, and here I was completely exposed by a stranger. He went on to tell me how to get out of my trap…forgive the people who were not there for me. Whoa. The truth is I’m gifted with the ability to just move on with life and not deal with the people who hurt me, or who were disloyal, or who were just not my people. But I had not forgiven many of those people.  My forgiveness list took me an hour. As embarrassing as that is to admit, it was one of the most helpful things I’ve ever done for myself. I let it all out. I spoke the offenses out loud. I cried…no I wept. Who knew I was still this hurt? Some of the offenses dated back to my childhood. I’m forty and I’ve spent my entire life stuffing offenses into a closet and in one encounter with a stranger, it all came tumbling out.

I couldn’t be more happy that this man was not afraid to approach a stranger and say “you have so much more in you if you can trust one more time.” What I didn’t realize is so many people are inspired by honesty and here I was about to shut off from the world and hide my truth. I was desperately searching for an excuse to be mediocre. But God keeps pushing me to greatness, no matter how hard I try to run. So here I am guys. Again. Lol

Although I appreciate your likes, comments and the time you spend reading my thoughts, I still feel compelled to live more real life.  Being an influencer is amazing, but I am so much more than a social media persona.  If I were to make a resolution it would simply be to be a better human. I would resolve to dance in the rain even when there aren’t any cameras to catch “the moment.” I would resolve to live, FORGIVE and let live.  I would resolve to offer my head and my heart to as many people who just need someone to care. I want to offer real-life light…not the illusion of who I may be from this persona that I’ve built.  So, although I refuse to chant “new year, new me”, I realize January offers us all another opportunity to live forward. I take it as just that…month one of another year to live forward and to give forward. It’s an opportunity to despise the mediocre and to keep striving for the great path that has been set before us all.

S0 again, I appreciate your commitment to me even when I wasn’t committed to you. Thank you for your continued love and allowing me to start fresh as many times as it takes. My life would have been much harder without your love and support all these years. I wish you the same love and support returned ten times over and I wish you life and FREEDOM!

Happy New Year,

Neki 🥂




January 24, 2018


  1. Reply


    January 15, 2018

    THIS!!!!! Thank you for sharing such an insightful, inspirational and personal message. I Love You and Appreciate You for allowing us a glimpse into your life.

  2. Reply

    Michelle Amalaha

    January 15, 2018

    I’ve loved you from the first time we actually met. I thought, “she gives me life.”
    I often refer to “Organic Love” never forced, rather a refreshing natural growth, no chemicals, no hormones, no GMO. The process of God’s love and Sunshine. You, my darling baby sister are a Diamond and I cherish you and will stand by you, hold your hand, cry with you, push and encourage you daily! 2018 will be a dramatic, dynamic and blessed year! My brother told me, “Your haters are your fault, because you don’t look like what you’ve been through! They only see the outside!!!!
    Continue to be you,
    Always Lovingly,
    Big Sister Michelle ❤️

  3. Reply


    January 15, 2018

    I’m so proud of you my love! You are definitely a 🦄!!! None like you…

  4. Reply


    January 16, 2018

    Tears and an intense love flow at this very moment. So profoundly poignant and needed. I am so grateful! Love ❤️

  5. Reply


    January 16, 2018

    WOW! WOW! WOW! Inspirational and thought provoking. You are indeed a gem. Stay true to you. LoveLove! More Life and Many Blessings. overflow!