At 28 years old, I feel like I’ve experienced more than I needed to. I’ve had like five near death experiences; I’ve had to make tough decisions that I wake up regretting every day and to make matters worse, I keep finding myself in a lot of the same experiences. I think the greats call this insanity.

One of life’s most challenging aspects is understanding love + partnership with a significant other. I swear, in high school, it was so simple. Love meant holding hands, going to the movies, and the worst thing your significant other can do is cheat on you.

Plus Size Wedding Dress by Teri Jon

As I’m getting older, love is starting to mean tough conversations, holding your tongue for the sake of bruising your partner’s ego, understanding that there is a gray area that isn’t always the prettiest place to hang out in, realizing that sex more than a physical act–it’s 90% mental, knowing that honest and direct communication will make or break a relationship, etc.

Now, there are more nuances to love but–even then, I still welcome it with open arms. Why? Love has the power to transform and heal you. I once had a friend who said, “Sha, you are brave! You go into dating with the hopes of you establishing something long lasting. You don’t seem to be scared of externalities such as hurt, depression, weight fluctuation, internalized views about yourself and men in general, etc.” As endearing as his speculation about me was, he was kind of wrong. I’m terrified of love. It can be horrifying!

Plus Size Wedding Dress by Teri Jon

It’s 2017, and society still dictates where a person should be in their late twenties. If it were up to my family, I would have been married with two kids by now. But, by the grace of God, I’m not even close. Being married isn’t a life goal for me. Being happy and making others happy is a better fit for me. Does that mean I’m going to put a pause on love? NAH! I’m going to love harder than I’ve ever loved before. But not in search of the dream guy—in search of Chardline. I’ve been relationships that have changed me for the worst. I honestly lost more and more of myself with every relationship.

Plus Size Wedding Dress by Teri Jon

While this post is only PART ONE, I hope you guys follow me as I figure out what it means to take the time to and LOVE ME! FINALLY! I’ve identified six things that kept me from loving me. With each layer revealed, I am going to share some of the tips and revelations that led me to this impetus. I’m also low key excited that I’m going to partner with people who’ve watched me grow and break down for the past 10+ years. Visuals, Interviews, and Testimonies!

No fancy production here, but this project means more to me than you all know. And yes, we can talk about this dress! The reason why I had to roll out my “Turning a New Leaf” project with this dress by Teri Jon is that I am still a style blogger and partnering with brands who are turning new leaves of their own is especially near and dear to my heart! Teri Jon just rolled out their #JustMySize campaign. Check out their video to learn more about it.

Even though my dress is sold out, check out these Fall classics that I know you’ll see on the blog again!! I am wearing a size 20 if it helps for reference. Also, I found the same dress on Saks!

My shoes are from Amazon! 

Plus Size Wedding Dress by Teri Jon

Plus Size Wedding Dress by Teri Jon

Do me a favor? Hug yourself every night before you go to sleep. I promise it makes a world of a difference.

-Char.