Tass and I first met during the summer of last year at Erica from EverythingENJ.com’s anniversary brunch. We were seated next to each other; me trying to hope over the hurdle of social anxiety, and Tass, the energetic beauty with quite the unforgettable laugh and smile. We bonded over a secret. She helped me see this secret as something that was beautiful, that was powerful, and not to ever be confused for a joke as I’ve tried my very hardest to downplay it as. She has a special way of instilling wisdom in the men and women she interacts with. Some would argue that she has a way with words, but I truly do believe it’s simply her presence. Meet this Phenomenal beauty, Tassika Lloyd.
What’s your passion: Storytelling – in any way, shape, or form. It’s the oldest teaching method in the world and I love everything about it. – the hand gestures, the tonality, the visuals, the rhythm – everything.
Fun fact about you: As much as I love stories, fairy-tales are my least favorite. They’re not very mindful of what they’re teaching.
Tass, it’s pleasure to have you on YS.com and a part of this series! Tell the YS.com clan about yourself!
Super happy to be here. It’s like a light turned on when you sent me this opportunity; probably the same light that turned on when I met you. In a nutshell, I’m a creator. I just want to use my gifts to spark the necessary conversations.
Let’s dive right in shall we? Describe your self-esteem level. Are you a Beyonce- Flawless? Are you struggling with your sense of worth? Or are you a little in-between?
SIS. I’m nowhere near Beyonce flawless, no one is, not even BEYONCE. I have these stretch marks, a scar on my knee when I fell off my bike at 12, long ass legs and no torso and one of my eyes is shaped so weirdly that doing a wingtip on it is pure struggle. Even with all that, I’ve learned to own those issues with a sense of pride. They’re as unique as my name. They belong to me and it has never been about liking those weird intricacies about myself, but really loving the bigger picture – which is me.
I have my days where I think I’m prettier than on others, and to be super transparent – I am prettiest when I am good. This year in particular, I’m working toward a flawless spirit, probably impossible but the journey there has added a beauty no stretch mark or crooked eye shape can diminish.
I admire your ability to place words and your vision together. You story tell like no other, and motivate in the most simple of ways. What are some of your rituals to remaining positive and true to yourself?
You’re making me blush! That means so much to me coming from a woman who shares her own stories, because we understand the difficulty in that. I don’t know if I have rituals because I don’t pay attention enough to know if I’m doing the same thing every day. (I’m terrible with days and calendars, but I can remember things to the minute, weird, I know.) In order to stay true to myself, I have a very strict moral code. There are just some things I will not do or say, and there are things that I will stand up against and for because that’s just in me. My parents did this incredible (and annoying) job of instilling in me certain things such as facing my consequences, protecting my loved ones, being self-sufficient (not independent, big difference), putting my best work out/foot forward and simply stay still until I can. It’s not until I was about 18 years old having my daughter did they realize, “Oh shit, she really listened to us.” It’s hard to reverse those lessons and now I’m confident that I don’t want to.
In terms of staying positive – there’s no magic formula. My dad had cancer and died from it with a smile on his face. He was a very humble man, making sure I had money for tolls while he was fighting for his life. Being positive is cemented in me at this point. There’s nothing I can’t face with dignity and poise, even if it hurts, especially if it hurts. And my mother never complained. Ever! I was raised by two pillars of positivity who faced all kinds of odds that I never noticed because my mother would praise God anyway and my father kept his eye on the goal at all times.
When it comes to motivating people, nothing is more motivating than the sound of your own voice. That’s why I remain relatable. I don’t say anything too different from the generations of storytellers before me. I just put it in a way that when you repeat it, you believe it, and hopefully it reminds you of the endless possibilities you have in your life, despite the trials and tribulations.
We’ve seen glimpses of your book, She’s Your Daughter Too, floating across social media recently. How did the concept for the novel come about?
It sure is floating. Two years since the first batch was released… that’s crazy. The concept was born when I was. I was always telling stories and I knew one day, I would put it all in one place. When I graduated college, there was enough material for one book and then my father’s death brought me back to the drawing board to add the bones to the stories. It’s weird because when you write so much, you can get caught up in the technical stuff; character development, settings, and audience appeal but when you sit back and look at the bones, you put some life in it. In a way, I’m glad something major happened to my family to redirect me back to the story so I could add the bones. That’s what makes the book life-changing.
What’s one thing you hope readers take away from the words shared within She’s Your Daughter Too?
It’s definitely not just one thing. The most important thing I hope they take is the notion that we have to listen. The world is a noisy place and if we don’t create some calm, we will miss our cues to be great, to move on, to serve, to submit, to commit, to confess; all of those things and more. I know I was too busy chasing what I wanted, but when I prayed, I would say, “Lord, thy will be done,” never realizing how important that phrase is. That sentence trumps whatever I want or desire. It’s supposed to be that moment where you let go and let God do His work. Essentially, I want men and women to listen more; to each other, to themselves and more than anyone, to the God they serve.
Are there any other projects, or initiatives you are currently working on?
I’m restructuring everything, especially Kisses for Cancer and the Be the Better Man Flag Football Tournament. They were both concepts based on sentiments in my personal life that some people have run off with, and while that hurts in its own right, I remind myself constantly that even the people I once worked with on those projects aren’t me. It’s not their story, so they’re not going to tell it they way I do. They’re not going to love it they way I do, and I have to create something else because they’ve tarnished that for me. That’s a learning experience because sometimes you see something that has you written all over it in someone else’s hands and you become infuriated. And then I’m like, you can have that one because you clearly needed that. My creativity is never-ending so if you want to take that idea, do you. But I also wonder if they know that when you don’t create something for yourself, it will die out eventually because it wasn’t your fire that kept it burning in the first place. Not my business though. Karma will handle it.
This wouldn’t be the Phenomenal You series if we didn’t end with our signature question, words for the 16-year-old you! What advice would you share with her about self-esteem, self-worth, and of course, surviving these transformational years?
My 16-year-old self?! So many things to tell that young lady. Your prom date is going to break your heart, love him anyway. He will need it more than you or him both know. Motherhood is not beyond you. You are strong enough, you are wise enough and believe that you’ve had enough practice to do just fine. Your parents aren’t superoheros to you, YET. The person you’re supposed to be with will know that he’s supposed to be with you too. The greatest love is a mutual one. You’re going to find panties in your boyfriend’s house. That’s going to cut you deep. Own the pain, and find comfort in the fact that she’s a moron for leaving a lame pair of panties anywhere. Your daughter will think you’re the most beautiful woman in the world. Ironically, growing her inside of you will make you feel the most ugly. It all works out anyway. Your transformation is going to change the world and sometimes that world only consists of 5 really good homegirls. That’s more than enough. Do all you can and when you’ve done that, step aside and let God do the rest. If you need a miracle, know that you are the miracle. The most important things Grandma taught you was how to pray and braid hair. One final thing – you are nobody’s punching bag. You can hit back!
What can we expect next from you, Tass? We know you have surprises up your sleeve.
Don’t I always? The next project will be all about us, as women. Maybe a brunch, a tea party or a healing session. We have so many responsibilities and I want to remind women that we are a responsibility to ourselves as well. You never know with me but look out for something special and intimate.
Where can we keep up with you?
I have a website – Made with Love, but on the day to day, I’m usually on Instagram (@shesyourdaughtertoo) posting quotes from She’s Your Daughter Too, and pieces from my next project, which I won’t tell you about yet. Just don’t call it a comeback.
That’s probably the best place to find out what I’m up to. I also visit twitter (@t_lloyd) from time to time to engage with everyone. 70% of the time, I love the dialogue that goes on there. Other than that, you can find me on Virgin Fingertips, where it all started! There’s so much of me there, so much I don’t recognize anymore, and so much that I’m glad I am.
Thank for joining Tass. I love you long time!0