Meet Phenomenal Erica

In my past blog life, I ran a post series entitled “I Love Me”. It featured women I came across from the internet, in person and some of my friends. Being that I am the biggest self-love advocate that I know, I wanted to continue series, but this time with a little twist.

The new series is called “Phenomenal You”, geared towards women who have found what it is that makes them simply phenomenal or to those slowly making progress. Each series will be centered around a theme. This week’s set features bloggers, bloggers that are from my personal ‘daily reads’ section.

Enjoy what they have to share!

Phenomenal Erica of EverythingEnJ
Phenomenal Erica of EverythingEnJ
Hi, my name is Phenomenal/Kick Ass-Erica and I am the writer behind www.everythingEnJ.com, a personal blog that chronicles and documents defining life moments in my twenties. My posts include but are not limited to, motherhood, being unwed after a decade long relationship, and trying to figure myself and this life thing out, at the same time.

So let’s get to the nitty gritty! Describe your self-esteem level. Are you a Beyonce Flawless 10? Are you struggling with your worth? Or are you a little in-between?
My self-esteem varies by the day but on average, I’m at an 8 at this phase of my life. It took a long time to get here of course, because had you asked me this two years ago, I would’ve been at the halfway mark. To get to the 8, it was a lot of real heart-to-heart conversations with myself in the mirror or late at night when it was quiet and being upfront about the things I kept trying to shove under the rug. I get to a 10 when my eyebrows are waxed perfectly, my nail polished isn’t chipped and I can walk in 5″ pumps without my toes screaming for help after an hour.

In your own words, what does it mean to love yourself?
To me, loving yourself is fully accepting yourself as you are. The beautiful things that have happened in your life matter just as much as the bullshit and until you have wholeheartedly embraced both aspects, you’ll find yourself in a constant struggle with yourself. Loving yourself is a process that doesn’t happen overnight undoubtedly, but I believe once you get to point of acknowledging your insecurities and coming to terms with the fact that they make you, you, it’s the first steps to coming into who you were destined to be. Self-acceptance is key.

Why did you decide to open up a blog?
Everything EnJ started off as a “Mommy blog” after the birth of my first son and since I was sort of lost on what I was even supposed to be “doing” as a mother, it transformed into a bunch of randomness about fashion, my interests at the time and rants on just about, obviously, everything. It wasn’t until the past two years, I started to shift the direction of the blog again into more personal parts of my life. I noticed there weren’t many blogs that classified as “personal blogs” that I took a liking to and as I got older and more comfortable in my skin, I became more candid with others about my journeys so I thought why not write about it. That’s where it’s been ever since and probably will be until I die.

As a blogger, you expose a little bit of your soul with each blog post you share. Do you ever face moments where it becomes uncomfortable for you to do so? Do you find it hard to remain true to yourself when blogging? Do you hold back, avoid certain topics? If so, how do you power through it? What are some topics you will never delve into?
There have been a few, “wow, she really wrote about that?!” moments on Everything EnJ and when I felt certain on a topic until that moment of hitting publish came up and I wanted to turn back, I consulted my partner. My thing with my writing has always been being completely open and frank about who I am and what I’ve gone through but I have to also keep in mind, the people that certain posts will affect the most and that’s my family. Eventually my children will read my blog and I want them to receive what it is I want any reader to take away from posts without going, damn Mom, what happened to discretion? Because of this, I won’t ever write about my sex life, things that have happened behind closed doors that only my family knows about or experiences that no one knows about and I’ll take to the grave with me.

Have you ever received a blow to your self-esteem or self-worth from a blogging experience?
Thankfully I haven’t and where I am now in my life, should something arise, I won’t take it as a blow but a learning experience instead. I’m pretty confident in who I am and what I do.

Who’s to blame for a woman’s low self-esteem: Society, her surroundings, or herself?
This is a great question. I’m going to say society and her surroundings. Now that I’m a mother, I see the importance in speaking life into your children and daily positive reinforcement for the sole purpose that we live in a confused world where you have to be this person one day and you should be that person the next day. There are so many people who get lost trying to find who out who they are because of the constant need to seek outside validation. Now I will say that the older you get, you eventually have to take responsibility for the things you do and you have to start questioning yourself in order to gain that sense of acceptance.

What words of advice would you share with your 16-year-old self about self-esteem, self-worth, and of course, the art of blogging?
I think about 16-year old Erica a lot and if I could talk to her now, I’d let her know that everything she’s looking for starts from within. Want that love that boy in your math class can’t seem to give you? Look inside (oh, and you’re too young anyway). Wonder what it is about that girl that attracts everyone to her and she isn’t the flyest student in school? It’s that special-something called confidence she has that does what excessive makeup and Jordan’s can’t do. Talk to yourself first about what it is you want from life instead of other people who can’t give you what you’ll truly need. Want to write/blog? Don’t sugarcoat shit. Don’t fancy up your words and don’t mimic the styles of others. Just write – freely and without reservation. You’ll find your best work in your honesty.


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