These Hills Are Too Damn Big: Lessons from the Runway

Runway #9 (I think) – Runway modeling is freaking fun and glam !!! I would never have thought I’d be able to model sometimes. ….but the best part of my experience with participating in hair and fashion shows are the lessons that inadvertently place themselves in the line of my eye fire. How dare I learn something about LIFE/LIVING from modeling ?? I am so thankful that I have been blessed with modeling opportunities.

Sometimes, they reiterate old lessons and sometimes, they usher in new ones dressed in gowns with a popping lip 😉

Yesterday’s fashion show was no different and it was at high school, which meant we modeled on school floors, which is equal to no carpet!!! Nothing but shine and reflections !!!!

I made the mistake of only grabbing one extra pair of shoes on my way out that morning: A pair of black lace booties, along with the shoes they requested I bring, which were a pair of butterfly pumps that I just bought about a month ago. These just happened to be the pair of heels I had in the car when I went for the fitting. They loved them and paired them with a cute dress and it made all the sense to everyone for me to wear those….it made sense to myself. I knew then that me wearing these shoes may or may not be a problem, but I thought I could do it. I take chances on myself. The reason these shoes were even in the car was because I had taken them to work with the intent of getting my feet acclimated to them. They are a half size too big but not because I don’t know what size I wear. They run big and I don’t remember reading that about the shoes, but seeing as tho they were online purchases, it’s always a chance being taken. I got them and realized the half a size is the difference between shoes flopping and me walking flawlessly in them. But they are pumps….I just thought I could make it work with them because they are pumps with no platform and a low arch. SO I never returned them for a smaller size. Also , I think I was concerned that I would get the smaller size and not be able to fit them at all, then I would end up w/o these cute shoes. I basically have the same result tho from keeping them. More on that later…..

Back to yesterday morning… I should have grabbed some other pumps but I was still sleep….i was out late and up until 2am fooling w/my hair, so I was still sleeping at my 7 AM rising…..eyes open, but I was sleep.
Fast forward to the show. We arrived at the school and still thought ‘i can do it’ while casually listening to my instinct question my life choices ….
then we rehearsed ….to my surprise they put me first.
I’ve never walked first. I’ve lead my segment before ONCE and that was a choreographed segment, but I have never walked first out or last out. That is a lot of pressure. Every position in a runway show is a pressure filled spot because all eyes are most definitely on you, so there is no time for insecurities. But to be the person who starts it off or ends it, you have a hint of extra weight on top of you because you are either showing the audience how yaw are about to bring it or how you go out with a bang. With that being said, when she pulled me to start first, the first thing I thought was ‘oh no, but these shoes”. … Sheeesh, but I pumped myself up and said internally ‘you got this’. …I also may have chuckled a bit at God’s sense of humor…..I’m SURE God was sipping tea when I started walking…
..So I walked in them. Horrific.

Even the ladies of the boutique saw it and as I walked and struggled to keep these shoes from flopping off my feet, someone said ‘come on januarie, you can do better than that’ …I realized quick that whether or not I choose to claim myself as a model, I HAVE modeled before and people expect XYZ out of me. Just like in poetry: Folks expect me to come out with a long poem, perhaps about love or black people or maybe even a story. But they expect what I have given them in the past. At this quick rehearsal, I was not giving what I had given in the past.

I was giving something new: I call it, ‘I can’t walk in these’. Lol, I gave them the I Can’t Walk iN These Heels’ treatment…..I struggled to get down to the end of the runway and every time I got to stop, I was able to regain control of my feet in these shoes. It didn’t help past four steps.
I thought to myself ‘what you gonna do goofy?’

Have you ever try walking with your back straight, eyes focused, face on fierce, showcasing an outfit, on a slick floor w/fall potential in shoes that are too big?

When we got back to our area, the ladies had me try on a second dress to walk in. I initially tried to play it off with my black booties, but I knew the pumps would look better with the style of dress. It was requested that I wear the butterflies. Now, I had to walk twice, three times if you count the final all-model walk. From the rehearsal to the start of the show, which was at least over an hour, I contemplated what to do….I was excited because I was walking twice. But I was stressed because I was thinking ‘ there is no way I can do TWO shitty ass walks…I ain’t come out of town to look like I need OFF the runway fast” ….
What to do….do I suggest I wear the other shoes?
Play it off with these shoes?
Stuff them and practice now?
Do I ‘forfeit’ and say I can’t do it? Will I be a disappointment?
Will I let myself down? What if I walk in them and fall?
What if I walk and they fall off my feet?
How will I play THAT off?
How will I be invited to walk again?

Oh, the wonder-filled mind of januarie and all her selfie-questions. I’m usually the quietest person in the room no matter the circumstance, but please believe in my head, I have a whole lot of thinking going on, about SOMETHING.

Finally, it was nearing showtime. We went backstage and I had both of my shoes there. We had about 15 mins before our turn when I had the bright idea to put toilet paper or napkins in my shoes. Sure it was a less than ideal situation and I would likely not ever do that in real life, but for the sake of the runway, surely I can handle some TP in my shoes if it means my shoes will stay on the back of my feet. I tried it. Matter a fact, I tried several versions of this shoe stuffing. I stuffed the tips, the sides, the tips AND the sides. I balled up the napkin, I folded the napkin. I put my feet in first, I put them in last, I put them in after the paper then put more paper on top of my foot. I tried so many fucking versions of self-help and after each time that I felt mildly secure in, I would go practice on the surface. After a few tries, it helped. At one point, I thought it a good idea to leave them on but then my feet started hurting and I figured that would do the walk a different type of injustice. So I took them off and right when it was our turn to line up, I put them on.

But not before my instinct had her day in court. I sat on the floor envisioning myself making a fool out of myself for three excruciating walks down the runway. I sat Indian style and silently asked myself: which one of these would make you look like the bigger fool? Suggesting that you wear the butterflies only once or walking in them both times. I knew the booties did not go with both dresses. They just didn’t and personally, I couldn’t let myself NOT try to make it once. If I made it and made it well, then I could keep them on for the second walk. I sat there as time was winding down and our turn neared and then I just said it.

I looked at the ladies and moved in closer and said ‘I don’t think I can wear these shoes both times, they are too big”…..I briefly explained that they were new and too big and I would be willing to try if that’s what they really wanted but that I just didn’t want to look like fashion roadkill……just that simple. And like that, it was over. I would go out in the butterflies, and when I came back to change, I’d wear the booties. I still thought I could do these butterflies once. I had practiced with the tissue enough to build a lil bit of confidence.

And then it was our turn.

I made sure my heels were tight as I could get them, with my feet secure in their place thanks to the tissue. And I was first, and just like that, it was my immediate turn:

The music started and strut (as best as possible and slow) out to the runway, turned, stopped and got ready to go hard. I went ……and that is exactly what it was: HARD!!!! By the time I arrived at the middle of the floor for the first stop and pose, I felt like snatching those shoes off my feet and walking w/a bounce and a smile. People were videoing and taking pictures and I could hear my instinct saying ‘nah, you will NOT get me bad’….but anyone who was videoing probably did get me bad….I got to the end and it felt like I was out of breath….I turned and walked back down and was so thankful the next girl was coming out to take the attention off of myself. SHIT!!!!! FUCK!!!! DAMMIT JANUARIE!!!! <<<internal voice…..

Instead of posing at the end, I admit I diagonally walked to the back in a take off method: meaning, you would have thought I was about to run. I wanted OUT of those shoes. I wanted OUT of that hard situation that lowered my model-confidence and I felt like prevented me from wearing the shit out of such a cute dress !!! I was so concentrated on those shoes not falling, which was truly fucking with my walk quite a bit…I felt crooked and timid and was distracted that I didn’t even put my hands in the pockets the way I intended on.

Got to the back and was out of those shoes before I was out the public eye. I love those shoes. They are so freaking cute and full of colorful butterflies against a white background w/solid blue stiletto heels. It saddens me that they were my problem.

But I threw those booties on quickly. I felt like I was putting myself back on solid ground. I put them on while I was being zipped into my second dress. Yes, this is comfort. I wasn’t even bending down.

Got back to the lineup and then back to my turn and my second stroll. I strut with all I could. I felt better. I felt my confidence come back. I felt like turning around and saying “yes bitches, I CAN walk, don’t get it twisted’….lololol

I didn’t.
I got to the end with ease, walked back past the people with good feelings and hopped in the line for the final walk and did that with confidence all over again. It worked.

The point:
“these hills are too damn big”

Sometimes, the hill looks like it cannot be scaled. Like there is no way to get up or around it. Sometimes, it’s as simple as us defeating ourselves before we arrive at the competition. Either we train our brains to dream in negatives or we put ourselves in the line of fire and then expect to be able to compete with it. I put myself in the line of fire by not mentioning on DAY ONE that those heels might be a problem for me to walk a runway in. Had I said so, then they would have never been in my possession that day, never would have been a problem and I could have had three flawless walks back to back. Had I gotten some rest (sometimes, you just gotta live a lil tho), or woke myself up out of lazy-decision making mode, I could have brought with me better choices to walk in. I have 100 pairs of shoes. This was unacceptable. Oh vey, all the preventable problems we allow INTO our lives -_-

Finally and most importantly….COURAGE.

Courage is the difference between standing back, looking at the hill
Standing back, looking from the hill.

Courage means standing up to face the problem head on and not being afraid to confront it. Not being afraid to make a suggestion at how to get over it. Not being so over-confident that you fool yourself into believing you can do things that you can’t do. And let’s face it and be honest: There ARE some things that we can’t do, no matter what the reason why. That’s life. We can approach a lot of stuff w/a superhuman mentality, but that won’t work if the situation is impossible. Hills are tricky. Some are huge, some are small.

Some are tall while others are not up that high, but the arch is a killer. Some hills are steep with a slippery surface, others you aren’t afraid to put your foot on the ground and know you have a solid platform. Some are up on platforms that are ridiculous. Other’s need the platform in order to be a hill….some will hurt, some won’t, some will leave bruises and other’s will require a lot of concentration to make it beyond.

Not all hills are created equal.

And not every one can be scaled. …however, it IS ok to try. It’s ok to be confident in yourself and say ‘I can do this’…..that’s the only way you will learn when you can’t ! And when you can’t, there is NOTHING wrong with stepping back and altering the situation, if possible, to fit your needs…..mountaineers don’t climb Everest without the necessary equipment and spending weeks and months prepping for the high altitudes.

Not all hills need months of preparation, but every heel needs some practice.
Practice doesn’t really make perfect either, contrary to what you may have heard.
Practice simply creates a blueprint of confidence. Practice makes you able. Practice tests and shows you just how ready you are.


Yesterday, I practiced using my voice outside of poetry. I confronted every possibility I could think of happening if I walked in those heels….and I thought of what the solution or prevention could be. Once I decided that I knew the best possible answer, I spoke up and saved myself and the boutique and the other models the embarrassment of me being so prideful that I walked in shoes that made me look like I didn’t know why I was there. I did, however, give my best in the butterfly pumps, all while gaining a new life lesson:
Never be afraid to look a hill in the eye and make a safety request on behalf of the people, yourself included,

And then,

Get to climbing. <3

BeliefAndExperience – Whats In Your BAE?


“No one wants a desperate woman !!!”
~Judge Gregg Mathis



1. Reckless or dangerous because of despair, hopelessness or urgency
2. Having an urgent need, desire, etc
3. Leving little or no hope, very serious or dangerous
4. Extremely bad; intolerable or shocking
5. Extreme or excessive
6. Making a final, ultimate effort; giving all
7. Actuated by a feeling of hopelessness.
8. Having no hope; giving in to despair.

Ooooooh, the way Judge Mathis said that word burned me and he wasn’t even talking to me. The sound of that word alludes to someone being ‘less than’, whatever the sport. If someone describes you using the word DESPERATE, it’s hardly ever a compliment. Or at least for me, I’ve never heard it used in a complimentary way; perhaps sarcastic, but definitely not as a compliment.

In writing this blog, I tend to listen to music, directly in my ears (through headphones) so that each song is that much closer. Today, as I got ready to write this blog, I had to switch from my homegirl Trixie Whitley to something more ‘somber’ so to speak so that I could channel the words that were on my heart to share. I went to the playlist that I listen to about 98% of the time, Objects in the Mirror Are Closer Than That Appear and strolled up the 400+ songs to find a stopping point. As I type, I am listening.

The chosen song: Sam Smith, Life Support.

It’s perfect for this blog, but it’s a single song. Sometimes, I listen to a single song on repeat until I have finished writing, but not today. As usual, my playlist is on random. The song just went off and the next song that came on, that is playing right this second, is Leela James, Falling.

Lets get it.

Desperation. ….so much I can say about it. I wonder how much longer I would have continued to the road of hopeful tossing myself in rings of fire, hoping to come out on the other side WEARING a ring. Even if it meant me being burned, I have always been so willing to GIVE ME in exchange for a stolen reciprocity that I’ve just never experienced. As I listen to Leela sing these words over this love-melancholy beat, I can see myself walking down the aisle.

I only want it to happen once.
I can see him, although his face is a blur.

I can see his silhouette, staring at me for the first time in 24 (or more) hours, in this dress, fitted, long, WHITE (pffft) and probably a hint of some color, definitely some lace …..i can see his eyes watering at the mere thought that the woman walking peacefully up the aisle is about be his, for the rest of ever. I make my way to the front, my family and friends looking on with tears of happiness in their eyes because they each know how much it probably means to me to be living such a moment. I stop, take his hand and in a second long pause, life covers us both in the glow of God’s happiness. His tear leaps off his chin, falling onto the pocket of his suit, as his hand takes mine for the first time in the wedding. We turn, face the preacher and begin life together.

It’s a chapter that I never thought of in great detail as a kid, but I never thought I would get in my late 30s and not have anyone. Today, I’m not sad about it. I’m not upset. I’m not even numb. I’m just, what I am. I still want love, someday. But I’m not sad, TODAY, that the story I just made up has never been my reality. I’ve spoken in great detail in this blog about wanting to be loved…..i started trying to better appreciate those WHO DO love me. But let’s run it back some.

Before today,
Before now,

Back when last year was still happening. This time last year, things had gone sour and I knew it, but still I held on. The Justin Timberlake concert was one year ago from yesterday. So approx. one year ago, I was texting someone, in an act of desperation to hold on, trying to bribe him to let me give him more of me by saying I had a piece of Tennessee Whiskey Cake in the car that I wanted to eat together. He never responded. I text him early into the concert.
Odds are, he was probably with the woman who is his girl now.

I on the other hand, was still playing my role: Desperate. I didn’t expect him to text me back. I checked my phone several times in the concert to no avail. I waited and hoped and even after arriving home more than 45 minutes after the concert was over and hours after I text him, I still would have been willing to go to him if he had’ve just text me back. He never did. And after such a wonderful concert that left my heart yearning for a piece of any one of the songs JT had sang, I went to bed: lonely. I wasn’t lonely because I was single. I was lonely because there was someone in my life who didn’t want to be there and I couldn’t stop him from leaving….but I was still hanging on. Being desperate.

Let’s hit a couple of those definitions.

1. Reckless or dangerous because of despair, hopelessness or urgency.

Reckless became everything I was. Fucking without a condom because ‘we share this deep connection’. LMAO. That’s what I told myself. It still amazes me that I got out with my coochie unscathed and still intact. One of the first things I told him one day while we were having a talk about sex was that I didn’t like to share and he shared virtually the same sentiment (before I did ironically), so there was a part of me that foolishly, recklessly and dangerously hung on to that sole conversation as more reason to believe that it was just me.

Hopelessness or urgency – Yeah…the first time we had an extended conversation I knew I would love him. I knew there was nothing I could do to stop that, but I pretended that to not be my reality. It was tho. I feel in love, in like, in lust, in need, in an urgent desperate hope that he would answer that burning question in my heart: will you love me back? He didn’t answer or love me back. My ex prior to him, who I’ve discussed in this blog before, gave me a damn space heater for Christmas and a tape dispenser made as a shoe for my birthday. To say I was hopeless is an understatement. When I left him, I knew I deserved way better than that. I knew I deserved for someone to care, to give a damn longer than it takes for their ego to be satisfied in some wordly way. Prior to him, one ex made me beg for a bracelet that he never bought, another one bought me a bracelet and spent the rest of our relationship cheating on me and trying to kill me. I was hopefully hopeless, but in an urgent state of need for companionship that was reciprocated from that which I would be willing to give. I gave…too much of me….

and i want to get this straight because I know I’m always talking about money this and money that, and the reason being is because that part of our story ASTONISHES me…. I just can’t believe that happened, BUT-
I mean way more than my money and body…I gave my trust…my belief IN…what fucking little was to give, i gave…
not because I was so DESPERATE that I would project what I wanted
-and i did do that..i ultimately did project like a mf-
I’m a woman who possesses submission…. I let the man lead.
I only ‘projected’ after he lead me…
and he lead me…he kept leading me…he was never honest, never once. He was a coward.
that is a fact, it’s ok,
I accept I followed a deleted tweet….get it ?
But I gave him the places and spaces in my head and heart that should be reserved for that man who would see me at the end of the aisle that he brought me to after proposing
in a helicopter
in New York
flying high, over the waters, above the buildings,

night time….
we land somewhere….a rooftop….things are set up
i don’t know what else because I don’t know what he would do. …but he would do that much, because he would know THAT much about me,

he would know what that would make me feel like and he would want THAT
and he would see me at the end of that aisle in that swan Very Wang dress and his eyes would water….

The reservations HE deserves, were being foolishly
given to, or TOSSED at, depends on the angle, a man who wasn’t willing to appreciate the closet two beings to me; the dogs-
– Problem House! o.O

for all that I gave…..I’ve received a year’s worth of ass whooping, emotional fallout and bankruptcy ….emotional bankruptcy
depletion…resistance…anger, hurt..prolonged sadness
extended thoughts of revenge…
I’ve lived in a strange bubble after this one….
because, he just didn’t have to hurt me that.
…And say sorry and shrug that shit off #LikeMoneyAintAThang

6. Making a final ultimate effort; giving all & 7. Actuated by a feeling of hopelessness.
What the hell made me go soooo fucking hard for dude????

He NEVER went hard for me. The most this nigga did was pull me in for a wet kiss and hug in front of the patrons at Different Peace of Mind the night of the erotic show, when I wore that LOVE dress for the first time. He just wanted to show anyone who was there who was getting that. I liked it. I believe I talked about it before in this blog. I did. If it was done today, I would like it. I want someone to look at me and be so happy and so proud and honored that THEY are the chosen one for me and vice versa that they want to pull me in and let the whole world know it is me and them against all odds. But that’s not what that was. Idk what it was to be honest…I still don’t doubt that we did in fact share a connection that was special and deep seeded. But it was probably me doing more of the connecting because I wasn’t against it from the get go. That nigga was Bad Religion for me.
I just turned that on btw.

But what made me go so hard for him? Especially after giving the boot to a man who was just as fine, with a better apartment, car, options, more money…….where he lived reminded me of New York …..but he was the same person as this nigga. And I didn’t like it with him, so I gave him the bounce skate……but this fool was able to finagle his way into my heart and life in a way that made my internal desperation rear her head in ways that depleted my finances, pride and made me look like the biggest fool this side of the open mic.

It was just so unfair. It felt so unfair that he would lie so blatantly to me the ways he did. In hindsight, all the shit I believed , I now see what the lie was and know why. But I knew for a minute. Two months. I found out about what he had going on…I pulled that contweet thread up. I saw all those fucking pictures on IG in NOVEMBER. IT wasn’t until them filler flowers appeared on New Years Day that I couldn’t let myself be made into a fool like such anymore. Nigga took my power –

But actually,

I handed that shit over to him like brand new car keys…..
I had given up before we met. I had doubted me finding and keeping and being good for love long before I could remember his name. I had given up mentally but not physically. In the physical sense, I was still going, still believing, still holding on to the thought that someone out there was looking for me as much as I him. And for whatever freaking reason why, I thought I finally landed right next to him. We would stare in each other’s eyes and idk what he was looking at and thinking, but I figure I was projecting my hopes/thoughts/feelings into his cornea and receiving what I put in. Lol. I wanted to believe that there was hope for me even tho I didn’t necessarily feel it.

I had spent 7 years with a person and left with a ring I had to buy myself.
I had watched ex’s move on, get married, have families and it just started to look like that whole common denominator thing …. :/

Is it me? Whats wrong with me?

I felt like if someone else could see the Light within me, then maybe it would re-awaken that part of me that was slowly dying off. That part of me that still believed in things….the part that believed in the beautiful.

Hurt people hurt people huh? Well, this hurt woman wanted to love someone and I’m not saying I didn’t or haven’t hurt anyone, ( I didn’t hurt that clown cake tho), but my goal, my main focus was loving someone else……

Actually, my main goal was loving someone else into loving me.
I thought I could high heel, out poetry everyone and speak into existence love for me, from him. That is not true. I was not the muse of the women who speak in my poems….
“I am too much woman to be loved via a measuring cup”
I wasn’t her.
“I ain’t nobody’s cut”
I was his cut and that was it.
“Momma don’t play chess when the king is missing”
I did.
I played chess without a king, turned into a pawn and couldn’t have found a Queen if I were living in Buckingham Palace.

By the time we were months into talking to each other, I knew this was my final attempt. I had built up enough stamina to give it a go. He made me want to. I was ready. I was willing.

And unfortunately,
I was desperate.

* Daley, Love Somebody now playing *

I was desperate for a man to show me, me from his eyes and it be beautiful.
I was desperate for a man’s love in a companionship way.
I was desperate to just have my somebody.
I was desperately wanting out of the chase, the search, the disappointments. …I didn’t think he would disappoint me. Idk where I even pulled all this foolish optimism from…..

But I had it.

And I desperately wanted it to be something he liked about me. I tried to be every woman when I’m just januarie.

I tried desperately to be BAE.
Not knowing he already had her….

The only person I never tried to be was the woman in my poems.

Somehow, she got lost in the shuffle of desperately seeking (a) bruising.
And that I got.

The woman who stood before many people, starting back in 2012 and said “I am too much woman to be loved in a measuring cup.

I am not a bruised muse in heels…

I be wife, of ruler, in stilettos”, turned out to be the opposite of who she wrote life into. She was bruised. She was a muse to be used up and she set herself up for all of it. If ever there were a time I placed my heart on an auction block and then dipped over to a nigga’s table to hold up his numbered sign for purchasing, this was it. Everything I did and said was from a desperate place. A place of almost giving up. Everything came from a conscious woman no doubt, but a woman who was on her final grand challenge and her final run of belief in someone…..
A woman in despair, who did not want to believe that there is/was no one for me. I wanted it to be him. I NEEDED it to be him…or so I thought. I needed him to look at me say something to make me experience him. I needed him to see what no one else saw…what I did NOT need was for him to come in and destroy what was left of me….Instead, I experienced broken trust, misuse of my emotions and ironically enough, after shelling out money-by-pound to him, a year later (this time last year I had just promised him the money that he would go on to buy filler flowers for his bae with), I am about to file bankruptcy. Not because of him…..because of some shit from my 20s, coming through and doing an unhealthy cleanse on my credit score that I worked so hard on. ….I’m just noting the irony tho.

“Thank God I am a woman…NOW’’. ….because desperation almost made me an infant again. And as the sun begins to set on this cold Thursday afternoon and I prepare to take my sleepy ass to this second job, I am loving the reawakening of the woman I am.

Belief – I AM too much woman to be loved at a measuring cup.
And –
Experience – You will not experience ME just because you a man.

I will never again let someone take me for a ride outer space and drop me off on the nearest condemned planet before darting back to Earth to save the woman who always had his heart.
I thank him for the lesson he gave me and for the way he opened me up to love him and as a result, learn about ME, as a companion. I could have done a couple few things better to him I guess, but truth is, someone else had his heart before I ever knew his name. I never stood a chance. And if he were a whole of a man instead of the broken person he turned out to be, he would have told me that before he crushed what was still standing.

While it is true that I finally feel the most at peace with this since this year started and while it is also true that this dude HUMBLED me in a way I could have never expected to be humbled, I know me…i know there will always be a part that feels ‘something’ towards him. …something less savory than love but not as crucial as I hope you die a painful death. So fuck you #MuseWeasel20144012

. I’m so Crown and counting that a three letter misspelling of an infantile word and some $4 gas station flower were never and could have never been enough for me….for I AM too much woman, to be loved in a fucking measuring cup. Being a part of the play For Colored Girls has exposed me to myself in some other ways as well…..every little bit counts.

And for the rest of my life of loving, I will always remember you as the man who showed me a mirror in a way no other man could have done.

Sometimes, lies are the key towards unlocking the desperation gates and flying off. <3

Just in time for #TrixieWhitley – The Engine. Now Playing.