Keisha’s Guide to Beyoncé Pick-Me-Ups
After my diagnosis in graduate school, it took a little while for me to come back into myself. I’d been a quarter of the way through my life when I started getting strange symptoms and discomfort. When the doctors first shared, I experienced a myriad of emotions. I was filled with questions – lots of ‘what ifs?’ and ‘what nows?’ I worried about my life and how it would change in the weeks, months and years to come. I considered that it was certainly possible that the doctors could have had it all wrong. I came up with pretty much every excuse in the book. But then, I felt a little twang of relief – now having something identifiable to go alongside the symptoms I’d been managing for some time before.
After a while, I realized that most amazing thing to date. And let me tell you – it was a true GAME CHANGER.
You ready for it?
I have muscular dystrophy, but I am not muscular dystrophy.
It may sound a little crazy to say, but it’s true. For a while, my diagnosis felt like not only an identifier but my whole identity. My life had to change drastically around it: my daily routines, my travel plans (I couldn’t walk as much anymore and I had to stop driving), some level of my independence, my schedule (hello, tons of doctors’appointments!). I fell into that trap of thinking that MD was all of who I was.
You may see me zipping away in my wheelchair or getting around town with a slight “pimp walk” (see my last post!)but it doesn’t even begin to define who I am.
But the nitty gritty truth of it is: I’m still very much who I was destined to be with or without a diagnosis.
I’m still the go-getter I always was. I just exchanged a life of visual merchandising for top brands and storesfor an amazing journey of entrepreneurship and empowerment with Girls Chronically Rock. (Even better! With my GCR line I still get to get my hands dirty with the merchandising. I absolutely love it!)
I’m still the fabulously bubbly woman I’ve always been. And I get the chance to showcase my smile and style even more with fun photoshoots.
I’m still the fashionista that everyone has known me to be. Fun t-shirts and bold pairings have always been may favorite. Now, I can rock my own line, make a statement and still flash my fabulous style!
I’m still the friend I always was. Nothing has stopped me from hitting the town with my girlfriends. This process has even blessed me with a whole selection of new friends to enjoy as well.
I’m still the lover of food I was before the diagnosis. I promise, I can still throw down on delicious pizza and a side of buffalo chicken wings.
And, 100%, I’m still A BEYONCE FAN. I don’t care what happens, Bey always has something to match my mood – which makes perfect sense considering that we’re both Virgos. (Her birthday is only one day before mine!) I’ve been a big fan since her Destiny Child days, every new single gets me excited all the same. I feel like we’re connected forever!
Life is full of ups, downs, and things that seem to flip your world upside down. That’s true for everybody. But as for me and my house, Beyoncé’s music gives that special something to at least help fix just about any foul mood that may or may not come my way.
I wanted to share some of my go-to Beyoncé faves with you!
When you’re getting ready to have a great night out with your girls…1. Party
“You a bad girl, and your friends bad too (ooh!). We got the swag sauce, she dripping swagu (ohh!)” Oh yes! When I go out on the town, this is my reminder that my girls and I are fine, fierce and fun. This is most definitely a bop for us!
If you’ve had the chance to hear the original version, Bey also shares this empowering sentiment at the end of the song that really speaks to me:
“As a black woman, I used to feel like the world wanted me to stay in my little box. And black women often feel underestimated. I wanted us to be proud of not only the show, but the process…”
I won’t leave it all here, but you can enjoy the rest by searching it on YouTube!2. Get Me Bodied
If you’ve ever been on the dance floor and this song game on, you know how much energy it brings. Beyoncé gives you voguing, a workout of pop-dance moves and a chance to “pose for the camera, now click, click, click. This is just the song to move, groove and have a great time in lots of laughter with your friends, family, boo-thing – whoever happens to be cutting it up with you on the floor at that time.
Published by girlschronicallyrock
I was born and raised in Cambridge, Massachusetts. My personality is friendly, strong work ethic, and great professional skills that makes her the hustler she is today. I graduated from Framingham State University with Bachelor’s in Fashion Design and Merchandising, a year after I graduated from Cambridge College with a Master’s degree in Business Management. While earning my degree I gained invaluable experience in the business/financial and Fashion Industry with working at different departments at Cambridge Savings Bank and many merchandising companies such as Motherhood Maternity, Tommy John, Spanx, Echo Design and Fossil Group.
While in Framingham State University, I was in the Fashion Club and Black Student Union Club where I was able to meet new people and gain and learn a new experience in both groups with a different diverse of people. I knew I always had a passion for fashion from in middle school and new I wanted to be a Fashion Designer. I looked up to Fashion Designers like Kimora Lee Simmons and Betsey Johnson. I love their unique different styles and just two successful entrepreneurs who are making it in the fashion world and continuing to grow. My dream is to possibly meet both of them one day, even maybe do some business together.
At the present time, I am working as a Merchandise Coordinator for Tommy John inside of Macy’s and Nordstrom within the Boston Area. I also owned my own t-shirt line business called Girls Chronically Rock which was inspired by myself because I was diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy back in graduate school so I wanted to make something inspirational, motivating for people who may have a chronic illness like myself or may be battling anything in their life, to let them know that they rock no matter what. With the wonderful work experiences over the years, I am really just an easy-going person where sometimes I love to be at home watching lifetime movies or many of my tv shows that I love to watch on a daily basis. I like spending time with family and friends whether its traveling, going out to eat and going to special events.
Through my education and work experience, I have gained the knowledge and skills necessary to excel as a Fashion Designer and Visual Merchandiser. I am both qualified and eager to strive at my business Girls Chronically Rock and continue with dedication, and I know my hard work will pay off and I will reach my goals. I will soon hope to have my t-shirt line sold in department stores such as: local boutique stores, Macy’s, Karmaloop Foot Locker and many more.
Here is a little more in depth detail about how I was diagnosed with Limb-Girdle Muscular Dystrophy:
I have Limb-Girdle Muscular Dystrophy (MD); I was diagnosed at the age 24. I was born and raised in Cambridge, MA and went to high school in Cambridge. I received my bachelor’s degree in Fashion Design and Merchandising and then furthered my education in getting my Master’s degree in Business. When I first discovered my symptoms of my MD, it was crazy to me because I started to get symptoms around 2009. While in graduate school I began to repeatedly fall, and my leg would just give out on me without notice. I would fall to the ground and not be able to pick myself back up, I would need assistance from someone to lift me up with all their might, because it was something I just wasn’t capable of doing on my own. I also began notice when I tried to reach for certain things in the kitchen cabinets or try to exercise I was unable to lift my right arm up all the way. I kind of just thought to myself maybe I need to go on a diet and lose weight, but in the back of my mind I knew it something more.
So I went to see an orthopedic, but I was told that this was more of a neuro-muscular issue, so I then went to see a Neurologist. Once I saw the Neurologist, she then tested me and gave me muscle biopsy, MRI, an EMG and every other test you can think of. So after multiple tests, I was finally diagnosed with Limb-Girdle Muscular Dystrophy. Limb-Girdle is a form of MD that affects the limb of the shoulders all the way down to the legs, which progressively over time eventually gets worse.
The first thing I thought was how long am I going to live will I be in a wheelchair soon, and what is my life going to be like from now on. I knew I had to be strong and continue to do what I have to do so I started doing some research on it and read what eating healthy and exercising would help. I joined weight watchers with my cousin and I lost over 36 pounds and I felt great. I’ve able to keep half the weight still off, and I am still determined to lose more.
They have multiple types of Limb-Girdle Muscular Dystrophy, and 5 years later my doctor’s are still trying to figure which type I have exactly. The only thing they know at this point is from the types I may have can affect my heart which is why I often have to go get a echo-cardiogram test that tests my heart to make sure everything is ok.
Living with Limb-Girdle Muscular dystrophy is still new to me every day. I wake up every day not knowing how my legs are going to feel or what pain I may have when leaving my house. I try to be very careful when walking because I don’t want to fall, because I won’t be able to pick myself back up. Although I am on my feet a lot for work, after a certain amount of hours, my legs start to weaken. I am currently a visual merchandiser at different locations a very popular clothing store. I enjoy my job because it keeps me and my legs active and I enjoy traveling to the different store locations and doing what I love and my part in the fashion industry.
I have the wonderful support from my family and friends but at the ending of the day, they have NO IDEA what I go through on daily basis or what I’m feeling. I try to explain to them how my legs feel, but it’s just so hard to explain. I still go out and enjoy my life as normal, but sometimes I always have certain things in the back of my mind.
When going out I find myself researching about where I am going first, like does this place have stairs?, does it have an elevator?, do they accommodate handicap people? So all of these things I worry about when I go out and my friends and family have no idea. Living with MD has made me realize how strong I am and knowing I have no choice but to deal with this. I sometimes get stares because people wonder what a young girl like me is doing either walking with a limp, with a cane, or parking in a handicap parking spot. But I don’t mind because they just don’t know me or know what I have. Although my MD has progressed over the years and getting worse, I have learned to except it and make certain changes in to my life such as now walking with a cane in order to keep my balance and helping me not to fall. At this point I am just taking everything day by day and staying strong. But there is one thing I want people to know by reading this quote.
"There’s no “cure” or a pill will “fix it”, but at one point I thought it may help. And I thought the same with therapy and food. But it’s my endless support from family and friend that helps. It is hardest thing that I have ever done, and I found myself much stronger for doing it. Never, ever underestimate the power of your desire. If you want to live badly enough, you can live. The greater question, at least for me was: How do I decide I want to live? That is the question I’m still working on?"
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