The Sun Keeps Rising

Grief is a strange process. Especially when you avoid it at any cost. I make posts on social media and occasionally I may verbally say “I miss my daddy,” but any expression that requires depth, I avoid. It’s a defense mechanism I guess. I have to keep going, keep living. I don’t want to be the sad girl. It’s approaching two years and I don’t want pity. I don’t want judgement. However, I have not properly dealt with my grief. I sit in my regular therapy sessions and I discuss my mother or romantic relationships, and even my relationships with friends. Rarely do I talk about my daddy or my grief. I don’t talk about him. Not really. I don’t explore my hurt. I don’t explore his absence.

A few months ago, I went through a bout of depression. I had the desire only to lie in my bed and binge watch Blue Bloods. Blue Bloods is a show that my daddy called “our show” because of the father/daughter relationship between two of the main characters. One day I realized that I was watching this show because I missed my daddy. It was my subconscious way of dealing with my grief. After years of sacrifice and consecutive tragic life events, I moved into my first apartment in Houston. It was joyful and stressful. Particularly because my car required a series of expensive repairs around the time of my move. Even though I always have consulted my mom and not my dad about my car troubles, I found myself feeling and saying “I miss my daddy.” The day I picked up the keys to my apartment, my mom was on the phone with someone sharing my news (as she often does because she suffers from verbal diarrhea) and I said to her, out of my mouth, “Who is that, daddy?” I immediately bursted into tears in the leasing office. A couple days later I was driving back to Houston from Dallas and my car wheel was giving me some trouble and I said to my cousin after I couldn’t gain assistance from my mom and others, “I’ll just call my daddy.” Even though something similar happened days before, I still shocked myself.

I’m so happy to start this new chapter, yet there is a damper. There is something missing…my daddy. (I just realized as I typed that sentence and my eyes swelled with tears that THIS is why I have been so moody) I have been depressed, needy, lonely, moody, and simply unpleasant. And I have been in my bed in my new apartment, alone, binge watching Mad Men. The main character and his life reminds me of my daddy. Watching the shows that have connections to my daddy have been unintentional but makes sense. Subconsciously, I’m looking for ways to be close to him, to fill the void that is impossible to fill. My daddy would be so happy for me and taking this step, living my life for me. Even with that being true, I can’t be happy. I can’t help but wonder if every life event that is to come will be challenged but this dark gloom of my father’s absence. I’d like to believe that when I stop avoiding and actually deal with my grief, I will handle life events in a more healthy manner. For now, I am up at 3 am watching Mad Men, feeling every bit of my daddy’s absence and it hurts like hell.

For Raven and Melanie

Thursday I received a text that said “did Raven reach out to you?” I didn’t think much of it, maybe some family drama. I simply replied “no about what?” The next five words made my heart sink, “her father died last night.” I picked up my phone to make a call I never wanted to make: to welcome my pure-hearted, genuine spirited, kind cousin to a club she never wanted to join. She answered the phone, strong, “holding it together.” What she didn’t know was that I was a mess. You all know my relationship with crying. When I say, I was broken down on that phone call. (Of course I hid my tears from her) My heart hurt for her. As I tried to explain that the studies were wrong, there may be five stages (sometimes seven) of grief but you don’t experience them in a particular order, you bounce around them. And the truth is, you don’t start healing once the body is buried or cremated. You have to be intentional with your healing and sometimes the denial/avoidance stage is the longest.

Jasmine and Joe Lott

Jasmine and Joe Lott

It will be two years in October that my dad has been gone. The truth is, I just began moving out of the denial stage. I literally got back to Houston after his funeral and picked up two more jobs, that I really didn’t need. I started studying for the GMAT. I filled my time up completely to avoid dealing with the reality that I will never see my father again. I was “okay.” I kept it together. I was slaying this grief thing. I remember my friend Jasmine Lott, whose father passed in 2012 texted me that “I’m here to tell you it never goes away. The pain the tears. I still wake up crying. It’s like it happened yesterday. Keep praying and crying wake up and just live your life that’s all you really can do.” I remember the feeling I felt when I read that text. It was so sad and morbid and I was in denial so I was like “Nah that won’t be me.” …Then I lost control. First, I started crying in inappropriate places. Then, I started acting out. (All things JLott had warned me about) I went numb, but thing causing the pain was a reality.

Raven and Dad

Raven and Her Dad

I tried to explain all this to Raven by simply saying “It’s a process and the best thing you can do is to deal with everything you are feeling.” I know what she is about to go through and that breaks my heart. Everyone’s grief is different, yet the same. Raven’s father was a Mexican native who was deported when she was a baby. She was just beginning to build a relationship with him and was robbed of that because someone took his life. That is an additional level of grief and trauma to deal with. (Honestly, at this point I am thinking to myself, Christina this is some sad ish, you need to make this post positive girl.) Truth is Father’s Day is not Happy for a group of people. Maybe life will turn around to make it a happy period for us that feel grief. Maybe we will have a child born on Father’s Day Weekend or some other positive life event. But for now, for me, for Raven who lost her dad the Tuesday before Father’s Day….it just ain’t that happy.

Ironically enough, my Soror Melanie made a Facebook post on Friday sharing that she had not spoken to her father since she was 19 and this year decided to reach out for Father’s Day and learned that he had passed. Raven and Melanie were robbed of something that I will never personally understand but I can definitely empathize with. So where’s the positivity in this post, that you all have support. Jasmine Lott was my support. She was the one person who could say anything to me and I would not get offended because I knew that she knew EXACTLY how I felt. (Our relationships with our fathers were extremely similar, even their deaths were similar) I also had support from those I had not been previously close with. An old co-worker Jessica Cain gave me so much support in an exchange in Facebook messenger. And my friend Stevie. Stevie and I will be spending Father’s Day together moving forward, celebrating the lives and legacies of our amazing fathers.

I am a Grey’s Anatomy fanatic. And I share the same morbid humor and sentiments of the writers of the show. When the character George’s father died, Cristina Yang said to him, “There’s a club. The Dead Dads Club. And you can’t be in it until you’re in it. You can try to understand, you can sympathize. But until you feel that loss… My dad died when I was nine. George, I’m really sorry you had to join the club.” George replied, “I… I don’t know how to exist in a world where my dad doesn’t.” Cristina then said, “Yeah, that never really changes.”


I am really sorry you have to join the club, but please know you have support.






I am skilled at putting people in boxes. The issue is the more I shut myself off from those people, the thicker the wall I’ve built between my emotions and the rest of the word becomes. Everything in life is geared with a transaction, an exchange, a risk. I hold on to my end of the exchange as tight as I can. I have a lot of pride and self-protection which makes it difficult for me to release power and show vulnerability. This becomes a challenge because how can you grow with someone if you never let them in? This becomes for complicated for me, because you cannot truly let someone in without showing vulnerability. So I walk around life acting and believing that if you have not crossed some arbitrary line with me, you are disposable. A guy that I dated constantly told me “you have to stop acting like the people in your life are disposable, that’s not how life works.” Another guy I dated told me on the regular basis that he felt like he was always one mistake away from my blocked list. (Truth of the matter is that he was correct) Instead of spending energy on what seems to be a bad investment, I like to cut my losses early.

Now, I never said that this makes me a good person. This post is actually very critical of my coping mechanisms and the purpose is to dissect my challenges with relationships, both friendly and intimate. Through experiences during my high school and college years, I have grown to become extremely protective of my vulnerability. In adulthood, the few instances that I have allowed myself to be vulnerable, have been in vain. So how do I accept that with vulnerability comes disappointment and that I should not allow that to prevent me from being vulnerable; while maintaining that everyone is not deserving of your vulnerability? (Yes, being an adult and actually dealing with your mess is complicated)

Everything with me is an exchange of power. This can cause me to be very petty. A couple weeks ago, my ex called me, very friendly conversation, not uncomfortable, totally cool…I cut the conversation short so I would be the one to end the conversation and not him so I could keep the power. (Yes I realize there is something wrong with me) Maybe I did this because I lost so much power in that relationship, so I try to reclaim it in any way that I can.  The “I’m going to get you before you get me” mentality is not mature, productive, or healthy. I am aware! That doesn’t prevent me from being on a constant power trip. “Noted” and “Ok” are my constant states of mind. I don’t rebuttal or share when I’ve been hurt because I don’t want to reveal my true feelings. I avoid confrontation by taking note and removing myself from that situation, a lot of the time this results in me removing myself from a person’s life prematurely. So I put that person in a box and add another layer to the wall.

**It is difficult for me to end the post here because I have not resolved the issue that has been presented. There is more to come. I need to explore, how this causes me to sabotage healthy relationships. Truth is, this is not a solution based post, I am literally analyzing myself. I don’t have the resolution yet, but when I get it, I will definitely share. I plan on working through these challenges here, ( I hope if you have the same struggles that you attempt to work through yours as well. If you’d like to share your journey, please email me at (Yes that is a different domain, I’m working on cleaning this up)


me trying to date


So I check Timehop and Facebook Memories daily. It often provides me with little jewels of my daddy. Today’s timehop was a sad but real moment for me. My dad lived over a year past the video I will be sharing today. Moving forward, time to time I will be sharing some memories provided by Timehop and Facebook.

Whatever Gets You Through The Moment 

When I miss my daddy, I place a small vile of Givenchy Pi up to my nose… and I get a whiff of him. When my heart is severely hurting, I spray the cologne on his robe and I hold it. And in that moment the painful reality is non existent. He’s right here with me, sitting beside me, holding me, laughing with me, holding my hand…but it’s only a moment, then I remember. He is not here.

You Can Run, But You Can’t Hide

I have been collecting little puzzle pieces here and there because I wanted to share my experience through the art of words. I haven’t had the time to organize the pieces and put the puzzle together…but it is coming.

Since my dad’s death, so much has happened. So much good has happened. So much good has happened that at times I even feel guilty. I’m not sure why I feel guilty, because there is a vacancy in my heart that prevents me from really enjoying or celebrating the good. I have no complaints about life at this time….except one: I am terribly sad. I smile. I go out. I have a good time. I live. I thrive. BUT at some point while doing all of these things, I find myself in a dark place. I don’t share these moments with others often. I hide my tears. I slip away if I can. I try to reason myself out of that place. But I have a fear that I will be visiting this place for the rest of my life.

On the daily basis, I keep it together 99% of the time publicly. Today, I have literally been a crying mess. I’ll just assume that most of you reading this do not know my personally. So, I’ll let you in on a little secret….I use to be a cry baby. Like I cried ALL THE TIME. Somewhere between my good friend Joann (who told me directly that she did not like me  when we met because I cried all the time…I am now her daughter’s God-Mother), my good friend Justin (who would look at me emotionless while I cried, until I calmed down and then told me that what I was crying about would not matter in 5 years) and my college boyfriend (who was emotionally challenged himself and had very cold but honest responses whenever I was overly emotional about anything), I have grown to DESPISE crying. When I cry (which is rare) I actually get angry at myself. The conversation I usually have with myself is a cocktail of what those three would say to me.

Today, I woke up from a terrible, but painfully accurate dream and decided I was not going to allow it to affect my day. I went to a meeting at the Junior League of Houston, which went well and I realized that I was finally enjoying my time in the league and making friends, which I previously had found challenging….THEN, I went to therapy. (I started therapy again [HUGE ADVOCATE OF THERAPY] a week ago because along with my hate of crying I have grown to be as emotionally challenged as my ex. Which has led me to force my emotions into the box that I can feel the lid coming off of daily [another post for another day]) Therapy opened Pandora’s Box (Pun Unintended). I began thinking about things that I usually avoid thinking about during the day. A friend introduced me to audiobooks, I wrapped up Joyce Meyer’s The Battlefield of the Mind (which literally took me 2 years to read until the audiobook, which took a week to finish) and I began Option B by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant. This was probably a bad idea. Sheryl lost her young husband two years ago. And even though our circumstances are different, her discussion of pain and grief triggered something in me that therapy had earlier exposed.

As I am listening to the audiobook, I am catching up on administrative work for my new job, which I love….and I am crying… papers are wet, vision is blurry, crying. Now I am pissed that I am crying. However, I had added an additional task, I am texting my best friend Jasmine and my good friend Nina, basically telling them that I should have dealt with this crap (emotions) a long time ago because now it is interrupting my life. When my dad died, I didn’t stop. I didn’t cry at the funeral. I didn’t deal with it. I told myself, “this is your new normal, you have to figure it out…and not screw up this new job.” And that’s what I did, I got back engaged in the activities, commitments, and goals that I was involved in before his diagnosis. I got a new job, expanded my Houston network, started paying down debt, was accepted into a MBA prep program and got into Grad School (different program from MBA). I was getting my life, the life he wanted me to live, back together. I never took…wait…I still haven’t taken a moment to stop and deal with the great loss I experienced, the aftermath that left me more hurt, or what all of this means. I just kept going. So, my emotions come out in inappropriate ways, such as isolating myself from folks, excessive Instagram posts about my dad, and random late night Facebook posts explaining in detail exactly how I was feeling in that moment. Let’s not even discuss the random crying in public places that leaves me livid. Or bringing my dad up in every conversation I have with friends….and strangers. Oh and there is the leaning on inappropriate people from my past as well. There is that. Bottomline is….I have to deal with this before I really do, “screw up this new job.”

There is also the issue of appearances. If it looks like I have been doing so well, what will people think if they knew that I am just now beginning to deal with his death. I’m sure I already look crazy between the Instagram & Facebook posts. Am I too open about my pain? Are people thinking that its been…..there it was: Today marks the 6 month anniversary of my daddy’s death. 6 months ago, the world as I knew it for 25 years changed. I have not been keeping up with the time passed since his death, because frankly, I go on like he isn’t dead. I wasn’t consciously keeping up with it, but subconsciously, I had to have known, which explains all the damn crying. (THANK GOD I work remotely on Mondays). As I figure this out, I’ll do my best to keep you all in the loop. I think the approach I took today was best….Just stop everything and write.

Daddy, there aren’t enough words in all the languages in the universe to explain how much I miss you. (Crap, here comes the crying again)


My Daddy <3

My daddy, Dr. Royce D. Cornelius passed away on October 24th 2016. I know I have not posted in awhile, but I have some great things in the works (including blog posts) that I will be sharing with you all soon. Today, I would like to share with you the video I created for my father’s memorial service. Enjoy.

They Say, “Boys Will Be Boys”

I began my first full time job in banking right after college. I was 21. It wasn’t my dream job, but I was good at it and I enjoyed it. I struggled with fitting in, especially because I was so young compared to my co-workers. I kept to myself a lot because to be frank, it was a sad period of my life. I tried to accept the culture as is. That include accepting Jimmy. Jimmy was almost twice my age and came from the auto industry. He had dog eat dog business practices which were very new to me. His character was comprised of car dealership sense of humor and entitlement. He often made sexual comments, in group settings and behind closed doors. On many occasions his comments were directed toward me and it made me uncomfortable every time he would mention my lips or my size. However, he had been with the company much longer than I had so I didn’t want to cause any trouble, I just wanted to keep my job, so I didn’t say anything. Eventually, Jimmy left. The work environment improved and I went on with my career with the firm. A few months later, I was sitting in my boss’ office and he mentioned improving the work environment. I casually made a remark about Jimmy’s impact on the environment. He was shocked. Even though Jimmy made these comments and advances directed to multiple people and even though multiple people witnessed his actions, no one informed our boss. My boss asked me why I never said anything. I told him, I was new and I didn’t want to lose my job. He looked me in my eye and told me to ALWAYS speak up. At that moment, I felt disappointed in myself. I knew better. I knew to say something, but I let someone who was in the wrong silence my voice. I vowed to never accept sexual harassment again.

I think as women, especially working and interacting in male dominated fields, we accept comments and behaviors that make us uncomfortable as “part of the job.” We don’t want to be the “girl in the room” that silences the usual conversations. We want to be invited to the golf course and to join in on cigars. So we put on our big girl pants and check our emotions at the door. Never realizing that we are not only doing a disservice to ourselves but also a disservice to our daughters, granddaughters, nieces, cousins, and every other female that finds inspiration in us. Being silent helps no one. It prevents growth and advancement because the environment more than likely will not change and if it happens to change there is nothing preventing it to revert back. If we don’t speak up, our male counterparts are not encouraged to do so either. Also, it adds more stress on women in the work place. It is okay to shake the table, especially if it helps to make a better tomorrow. DO NOT be silent.

Becoming Self Centered

“I am going to need your help”

What an honor and a curse.

The Honor: Someone trusts you, your knowledge, and your ability to assist them in achieving their dreams.

The Curse: Many times this request comes from multiple people who expect you to accept their request.

The Dilemma: You have your own goals and aspirations that you need to spend your time on. You may be able to help a person or two head in the right direction, but you do not really have the time to give without sacrificing something that is of value to you.


This is a battle I am constantly faced with. What makes it even more difficult for me is that I am passionate about helping others, so I agree more often than I decline. Of course as a result, I have several of my personal projects that are neglected. It literally took me 4 years to take Women Exceeding from an idea that was pressing on my heart to an actual established company. Not because that’s how long it took the paperwork, but because I was helping my boyfriend at the time with his small companies and projects. I was also helping friends with their small projects. I was on boards I was not passionate about. I was spending my time in a way that was not profitable for me. A few things about giving other people all of you: 1. They never return the favor (Sure they will say, let me know if you need anything, but very few actually mean that. Try to cash one of those in to test my theory.) 2. They easily forget all the hard work and time you put in helping to build their “baby” (This is just human nature, you feel you did more, they feel you did less. “You wasn’t with me shooting in the gym” But you may have been passing them the balls, developing defensive plays, and studying the competition so they could make the shot)

Now, I am not saying do not help people. As I stated before, helping others is my passion. What I am saying is be strategic with your time and the time that you donate to others. (Yes, your time is a donation) Make sure you schedule (and stick to) time for your own projects. Also decide how much time you can afford to donate to others. You may think of this as how many people can you commit to help for a period of time or how many hours a week you have to give. (Your strategy is up to you) For me, this time to help others is outside of my other obligations, including volunteering in the community. I am active in my church, a member of two service organizations outside of Women Exceeding, I have a full time job that sometimes can be 24/7 and not 9 to 5, and I have a very demanding family. In addition, I have other projects that are literally sitting on my desk waiting for me to bring them to life. (I love every aspect of my very busy life.)  Every week, I have someone asking me to help them with various tasks such as developing a website or marketing, helping develop a newsletter, going over interview questions, finding speakers for an event, credit and financial planning, even “getting my life together,” and the list goes on. These are requests that I struggle with. First of all, I am overwhelmed because I do not consider myself remotely an expert on any of the requests mentioned (which are all actual requests I have received) and I can assure you I can use assistance with every request I receive for myself.

IMG_3640My first approach was to commit myself to two individuals and help out others when I can. My first was a young lady who I assisted through her college application process and beyond. She has earned her Bachelor’s Degree and even though she does not need me to hold her hand, she still contacts me periodically for random advice and requests. With her demand being low, I have picked up another young lady who is at the same place that my first mentee was when I began helping her. I am confident in my roles with these young ladies, because what they are facing I have lived through. I know what I am doing and what they should do. The only challenges are if they are receptive to my advice and will actually follow it.


I had a mentor as an undergrad at the University of Illinois,  Dr. Paul Magelli (He and I remain close). After a meeting (one of many) he and I had regarding my future, I thanked him for assisting me with some difficulties I faced my senior year. He told me “the way you can thank me is to be me for another young person.” I think I may have been 20 years old when he told me that, but it stuck with me, and that is exactly what I tell my girls.

What about the other requests I receive? I still struggle. In fact, what inspired me to write this post was a text message I received moments before I started typing. One thing that I have started doing, is if someone asks me something that I do not know, I tell them I do not know. Sounds simple, right? Nah! Not for me, I like to be investigator gadget and find all the answers. It’s great to be knowledgeable, but remember we are being strategic with our time. If the answer will benefit you, then by all means Curious George, go for it. BUT if it will not, just be frank and say “I don’t know.” This will encourage that person to be independent and find the answer themselves. (I will write about being people’s crutch in another post…that I AM an expert in)

As you find your different tactics and tools to being strategic with your time, please share in the comments below! Or email me