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Photo by Utsman Media on Unsplash

Years ago, I got extremely upset with a good friend concerning something she said behind my back. She didn’t say the most horrible thing, but I just didn’t like the fact that she was talking to another about me in what I felt was an unfavorable light. Instead of talking to her about it, I just cut her off. Months later, we talked and she told me what seemed to be my biggest flaw. She said, “Jenelle, you have no margin of error.” This was true. I was quick to cut people off for minor to major things. This was…


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Photo by Alex Mihai C on Unsplash

I think it’s interesting that for ages, at singles conferences, Sunday services, and in Bible study groups, Vashti has been vilified, or been a biblical character of disapproval. In a few lines of biblical text, we learn that she refused to be objectified in front of drunk men and was cast out of her husband’s (the king) presence because of it. She rebelled against a system. Her story of rebellion is told in a few lines, whereas Esther’s story of rebellion and triumph is told in 9+ chapters. The interesting thing is that both Vashti and Esther (eventually) rebelled against…


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Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Over the last few years, I’ve attended multiple nutrition and health focused conferences. The professionals at these conferences are always mostly White. And the presentations they make concerning nutrition and health issues are often the issues that affect Black people the most. After complaining to my academic dean about the lack of black professionals at these events, he said to me, “if you’re the only one there, speak up. You start an initiative to get more black professionals. Join their committees and recruit.” That’s not what I wanted to hear. I wanted him to join me in venting about the…


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Many years ago, I was madly in love with a guy. But my uncertainties about him caused our on and off again relationship. On one occasion, I asked him to wait for me while I figured out if I wanted to move forward with him. He agreed. Soon after, he started to question it. And that’s when I knew, he had met another amazing woman. I told him to go forward if he thought he could do better. He married her about a year or so later. I was devastated and humbled. What I learned from that experience is that…


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Photo by Noah Silliman on Unsplash

The healer in me wants to fix everybody. And though I’ve helped facilitate healing into the lives of many, there are some who I could not help, no matter how hard I tried. A few years ago, I had a student mentee who I Ioved and cared for. She claimed to want my mentor-ship and guidance. She called me her “spiritual mother.” But no matter how much time or money I sacrificed for her, or early morning prayers I completed with her, I saw no evidence of change, accountability, or self-awareness. Matter of fact, the more time I spent talking…


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I’m still her. This is the little girl who was extremely insecure. She was learning herself. She had frequent anxiety episodes but didn’t know that’s what it was called. She was book smart but a little slow in understanding things about life. She desired to be seen. To be heard. She was gifted with a voice but had to be pushed to use it. She had body image issues because at this point she was getting a little chubby in the eyes of her family and peers and they let her know that. She had color-ism issues as she coveted…


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To the man who chooses to love me/ My apologies but you are choosing to love what’s left of me/the rest of me/what remains after high expectations and exhausted reserves to make up for his lack/the impact of frequent emotional cardiac arrests produced a fragile heart/parts are antiques/weak and terrified of another potential heartbreak that can’t be fixed/the jagged mix of excitement and horror I feel has become your puzzle/we may cuddle and connect/yet my trust level has a mean swagger/daggers of soul soothing words from others were lies/cries flow inside because I can’t sustain a smile with you/views of…


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80% of guys won’t understand you because of your rare personality type. This has been my truth. I’ve always desired to meet someone who makes the strong attempt to understand me…to see me (internally)….to dig into my soul. What I’ve found is: 1) Some men will see you with time and engagement. They have a kindred soul. But the romantic piece is missing. These will be men who may become your closest male friends. 2) Some men will have brief encounters with you where they take glances but lack the vision necessary to keep seeing you. 3) Some men will…

Dr. Jenelle Nicole

Dr. Jenelle Nicole is an educator, poet, and storyteller who uses her ethnic identity and cultural lens to highlight different areas of wellbeing.

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