I’ve known Kydee for quite some years now, we first met through a friend from college. Even from then I knew there was something uniquely different about her. I definitely used to have a small thing for her, she was different and weird but in the best way one can be. She’s a traveller and a blogger, I remember when she started her first blog, I was definitely down to read her post. They were from the heart, deeper than rap, they spoke to the individuals that read them. But she is also a woman doing great things, with much more ahead of her. You will definitely be able to get a real sense of that from reading this piece. So to the audience of A High Society, I give you Kydee, a Phenomenal Woman.
For you, describe what it means to be beautiful? I try to find beauty in everything and everyone. Personally, being beautiful starts from the inside. So it’s a spirit that ignites your soul. It’s a kind heart. An encourager. A supporter. It’s not only about aesthetics—which many believe it is. I’ve encountered many beautiful people on the outside, who were not beautiful on the inside and they were no longer attractive to me. So it’s really soul deep. To be beautiful means you are confident, you are unique, and you are a positive light.
If you don’t mind sharing, tell us about a struggle you’ve had in life and how you’ve overcome, but what also overcoming has meant to you? I think one struggle that I had was understanding what it truly means to love yourself. It’s so easy to be defined by others. It’s so easy to let other people’s opinions of you hold you down. It’s so easy to allow people to have control over your life by their words and their actions. When I graduated from college, I was insecure, for so many reasons, but I used this time, to really get to know me. Who was I? What did I want to become? What did I like? What did I not like? I spent time with myself. I went natural. I went to church and began building my relationship with God. I started writing a little (not as much as I do now). I went to museums, I even started an earrings business (for like a month). I did things that I always wanted to do and gradually, with time, I began to see my worth. I saw beauty in me. I was revitalized. I saw someone who had a lot to give to this world, and I would no longer be distracted by people and things who would hold me back. I finally began to love myself, and that feeling is priceless.
Ultimately what is your one dream/goal for your life? Ultimately, one goal for my life is Success. But not the type of success people associate with celebrities or monetary worth. I see success as having a career that I love and that I can spend the rest of my life doing because of my passion for it. I see success, in having a family-a loving husband and child, where Jesus is the center of our world. I also see success, in being able to buy my first home and to be secure financially. That’s what I want for my life.
If you were leaving the world with one fact about yourself what would it be? That I am a creative, who lived life unapologetically.
Who would you say are some phenomenal women of the past? There’s so many phenomenal women of the past. The few that immediately come to mind (and I know I am going to think of more once this interview is over) are: Ida B. Wells—an activist who helped raise awareness about the lynching’s of blacks in America. Nina Simone-an incredible singer and civil rights activist, her documentary on Netflix is phenomenal. Mary McLeod Bethune, a lot of people overlook her for some reason, but her life and accomplishments in education and civil rights motivates me. Mary Church Terrell—the first black woman to earn a college degree and finally, phenomenal woman herself, Maya Angelou!
What do you think makes a phenomenal woman? I believe a phenomenal woman is having the ability to be who you are in a world that tries to mold you into who it wants you to be. Also a woman who stands for something. Someone who seeks to make a change in this world no matter how big or small it might be.
We are all still bound to make them, but what are three mistakes that you’ve made so far in life, but have learned from and make you a better woman today?
Student Loans! I wish at 18, I would have cared more about my finances and how taking out student loans would probably affect my life today—they are a nightmare! However, it’s made me more conscious of how I spend my money. I am not frivolous with my money and I love to SAVE! So in a sense, it’s grounded me a bit.
Changing my major in college–I changed my major literally 5-minutes before it became final in the dean’s office, from Journalism to Political Science. I remember it like it was yesterday. I knew I had what it takes to become a lawyer, but I didn’t want to be a lawyer. I wanted to write. Consequently, I spent my whole college career in legal classes. I spent tons of money on LSAT courses, and I took the LSAT. My spirit was so unsettled during this time but I wanted to please my family. Finally, I realized I had to stay true to me, because it was my life, and not anyone else’s. I started to pursue my dreams of writing, blogging, and everything else that I do.
Jumping into relationships before knowing who I was. Some of my relationships resulted in me compromising myself in some form or another. I think this happens to a lot of women, because we go into relationships before being WHOLE individuals. Not only that, but we take on the burden of building our significant others up at the expense of depleting ourselves and our individuality. Now, I am intentional with dating because the peace that I have within myself is not something I am willing to sacrifice for anyone. I try not to ignore red flags anymore. If you’re only here for sex—exit stage left. If you’re only here because of what you think I can do for you exit stage right. If you’re complacent, insecure, or don’t see your own value then I can’t be with you because I do not have the time nor the energy to make you see these things. We have to start going into relationships as two wholes coming together as opposed to two halves looking for our significant others to complete us.
If you were writing a letter to your younger self, based on all that you know now, what would you say? Seize the moment. Throughout life, there were many opportunities that I did not seize, out of fear and to be honest I missed out on a lot of opportunities to develop myself and to possibly enhance others. Just today, I saw Ayesha Curry, whose Youtube channel–Little Lights of Mine, I watch religiously and did not have the courage to tell her how much I love her so it’s still something I struggle with but I would definitely say stop living in fear and shyness–just be bold!
If you were writing a letter to a little girl other than yourself, what would you say? Don’t ever let anyone dim your sparkle! It’s so hard for young girls right now. From the images of the half-naked women they have as “role models” to the men that sometimes do not see their worth. It’s important to remain focused and true to yourself. A lot of girls and women need to have tunnel vision—look straight ahead and not what the girl to the left of you or the girl to the right of you is doing. Those things tend to make us doubt ourselves or get jealous of others. But when we focus on us and what we love to do we can be so fulfilled!
What is your favorite quote and what does it mean to you and your growth as a woman? “For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled and those who humble themselves will be exalted…” Luke 14:11 I am blessed to have been born with a humble gene. In the world that we live in where everyone is talking about all that they have and how amazing their lives are on social media, this can either work for you or against you. People tell me all the time, “you don’t talk about yourself enough and you don’t promote all that you’re doing” and that’s when I guess you can say humility has worked against me but for the most part I’ve found that being humble allows you more time to work and grind because you don’t think so highly of yourself to feel that you’re entitled to anything. I don’t like to brag—it’s unnecessary. I don’t like to talk about money or status, because all of that stuff is meaningless. I just work hard at whatever I do, not for the attention but because I love it, and allow God to do the rest in my life and he has taken me to places I’ve never imagined.
What inspires you? I am inspired by so many things—it’s crazy. Sometimes I think I am absolutely insane because my mind is always on the go. I am inspired by art, which is why I literally live in museums. The other day I went to an art store, bought acrylic paint and 5-canvases and spent the whole weekend in my room, completely disconnected from the world (my phone is broke so I kind of didn’t have much of a choice) and just painted. I painted an imitation of one of my favorite Jean-Michel Basquiat paintings “Untitled: Ideal” but instead of the word IDEAL I put LOVE. I painted something else that represented Love-Lost. I am not an artist by no means but it’s a peaceful outlet. I am also inspired by black womanhood–that Apple Music commercial with Mary J Blige, Taraji P. Henson, and Kerry Washington is something I would’ve totally thought to create. I am inspired by traveling. I am inspired by young millennials doing great things in this world. I mean I can go on and on about my inspirations-this is such a soft spot for me.
What’s one silly thing about yourself? I am quirky, awkward, and clumsy—there you have it three things for the price of one.
What is one simple thing that makes you smile? So many things. Little kids and the charming things they say. Sunflowers and witnessing love (whether it’s on a show, in the movies, or two teenagers in exhibiting puppy love on the street).
What’s next for you, where are you going from here, this current place in your life? After 4-years of being out of college, and 4-years of working in the financial world, I finally know what I want to do with my career. It’s going to take a leap of faith for me to actually do it, but I know within a year or two I will; for now I am laying down the ground work for it. I am definitely the type of person to take action as opposed to talking about it so my lips are sealed until I actually take the risk. I am definitely going to travel more because that’s a life goal of mine, to see the world, but I want to start traveling with purpose. There’s so many people in the world that need us to acknowledge them or help them in some kind of way so I would like to do that.