Social Media: Death by visualization

Everybody knows that comparison is the thief of joy.  We’re so busy watching and lusting over what others have, that we miss out on our own opportunity for happiness.   ~Deetra La’Rue

Sometimes I’m a little hesitant to hit “Log In”, when accessing my social media account. I’m almost always met with images of women displaying their half-naked bodies, designer buys, or men flashing stacks of money, while being surrounded by a sea of scantily–clad women.  As I scroll on by, my eyes get caught up in the comments section, and I see that just about everyone share the same #GOALS.

What they fail to realize is, that often times what they see is not a true representation of the images displayed.  If anything, it’s a ploy to play with people’s perception and see how many victims they can claim, as they attempt to win their game of charades.  In all honesty, that’s exactly what they’re doing, because them “putting on” for social media, is nothing more than an “act”. 

Sad thing is, the viewers are so caught up in trying to obtain the fantasy that they miss out in reality. I have a huge admiration and appreciation for people who work hard and don’t flaunt their success, just for the sake of attaining social media approval.  I don’t, however, appreciate people who want the whole world to know how many cars they own, how many commas separate their money, how often they frequent Saks Fifth Avenue or how many times they’ve “ran up a check”.

Now, the “commoners” are forced to run after that lifestyle, while killing themselves to get it. It’s not enough for people to be happy with themselves nowadays, because they have been exposed to individuals who “show and tell” them how boring and miserable their lives are.  “If only I had it like that”, seems to be the thought pattern for this generation, especially the younger ones.  Hell, even some of the perpetrators don’t have it like that…but, they want you to believe they do!

Everybody knows that comparison is the thief of joy.  We’re so busy watching and lusting over what others have, that we miss out on our own opportunity for happiness.  Why do we give memes or social media “figures” the right to determine how we should feel or live our lives? Better yet, why are we going into debt to “Keep up with the Kardashians”, be “Flawless like Beyoncé” or live like the “Real Housewives of Atlanta”? 

Stop killing yourselves to compete with images that may be fabricated to appeal to you, in an attempt to improve ratings and fatten the pockets of the imposter, while depleting you of yours.  Goals are things that you set forth to attain and work towards, and should not be measured based upon what someone else has. It’s fine to use others success as an inspiration, but by all means, don’t make them your #GOALS.  There should be no one on this earth that you desire to be “just like”, so stop looking to social media for an example or individuals to define and validate your success. 

So many people think of success and automatically equate it to large sums of money, a colossal mansion or fancy ride. Success is anything you put your mind to and work hard to get. It can be a degree, job or owning your own business.  It doesn’t necessarily have to land you on the front page of the New York Times or earn you a blue check mark on Instagram. Besides, why do you need someone to “verify” who you are or how successful you are? We must also be careful to understand that my success is NOT your success!

Don’t become upset when the life you attempted to pattern after someone else, does not become your own. If that were the case, it would’ve been God’s will for you.  So many people are unhappy, because they are still relying on others to give it to them.  If only they look would “log off” or “deactivate” their account, they’d see they are most happiest when they don’t have constant reminders from images telling them what they should have, what their status should be or how many people need to be following them.

Writefully yours, 

Deetra La’Rue 

Dear Family

Image result for dear family letter
I’m leaving, but I’ll be back! 

When I think of family, unity, love and support are the characteristics that quickly come to mind. When I was younger, I starved for those things, but as I’ve evolved and gotten older, I no longer feel the need for them…especially from people who aren’t genuine, willing or ready to give them to me. I know some people don’t show their feelings easily or aren’t open to expressing “love” and “signs of affection”, because they may feel uncomfortable.

However, when you are a part of a family, these things shouldn’t even be a matter of question, unless you aren’t “a part” of your family.  I lack no hesitation to say, I feel as though I’m not very much a part of mine.  About 4-5 years ago, I found myself slowly but surely, drifting apart from them.  Family functions didn’t excite me anymore, and going out together seemed more of a hassle, as opposed to fun.

But, for the sake of keeping “stuff” down, I obliged.  Physically, I was there, but mentally I had tapped out before I left the house.  Now, that’s not to say my folks are bad people, but whenever we would get together, “noise” was always made, and I somehow was responsible for it.

Grudges are held, attitudes are formed and conversations that used to be continuous are now non-existent.  I know, because I’m soooo guilty of it!  Nonetheless, I still somehow feel we should be able to come together and support each other, because after all, that’s what family is for…. or so, I thought.  

One of the most affirming things to me, was when I wrote my first book, Glitter but no gold: How I turned my wounds into wisdom.  I was so excited for my book signing, so I invited my family to not only attend, but to purchase a book, or two.  However, what I experienced was a little (I expected it) disappointment.  I’ll admit, I was very hurt and upset, but then again, the feeling didn’t last very long.  I knew the majority of them weren’t going to support me, for the simple fact of it being me! 

No longer phased by their actions or sweating the small stuff, I chose to further distance myself from them.  Let’s face it, I’ve wanted to break away from them for quite some time now.  Just so we’re clear, they were not sabotaging me or causing me any physical harm, but they were destroying my peace of mind! However, I always had these feelings of betrayal, but how could I betray them, if I was doing what was best for me?

Yes, they are my family, but sometimes you’ve got to walk away from people, so you can walk into the life God has willed for you.  Those people might be friends, a boyfriend/girlfriend and even family.  However, just because you love them, doesn’t mean you’re to be around them!

My writing career is taking off and my dreams have begun to come to fruition.  There are so many wonderful things I see happening for my life, but I can’t attain them, unless I create some space between me and some of the people I love.

Maybe that’s what you need to do for yourself too! Don’t subscribe to anyone else’s ideas, plans or goals for your life.  Be your own individual and do the things you want to do, regardless if they support you or not!  It’s okay to love them from afar, and not pass opportunities by, because you are afraid of leaving someone behind.

For a very long time, that’s what I’ve been held hostage to.  I would often say, “Oh my gosh, I want to do such and such, but my family will still be Montgomery, while I’m over here just living my life”…and I’m perfectly okay with that! Besides, I can always leave and see them when I get back! 

Writefully yours, 

Deetra La’Rue


Daddy I need you

I love “love”, and even though I’m not in it, I sit and dream of the day it’ll find me. Speaking of find, often times, I find myself gravitating towards seasoned (older) men. To be honest, they’re all I seem to be attracted to.   It’s not that younger men don’t appeal to me, but I just feel a mature man is more prepared to offer me a lot of things that I need: stability and protection (to name a couple)….two of the most important things I longed for in a father.   It wasn’t until I became older, that I realized the reason for my attraction to seasoned men.  I was desperately trying to obtain the things from them that I needed, but didn’t get from my “father”.   But, I know I can’t expect my husband to be my “daddy”.  Without an ounce of shame, I am 34 years old, and still looking for a father!  Without lodging any (more) attacks, I was not fortunate enough to have a father, or father-figure growing up.  Although there was a male present in the home, his presence was not there.

I wasn’t a “daddy’s girl”, nor did I have anyone to protect or provide (financially, emotionally or physically) for me.  There was no“Knight and Shining Armor” or a man that I wanted my husband to be “just like”.   If anything, I wanted him to be the complete opposite!  I know the saying goes that “a woman’s first love is her father”, but I never got the chance to experience that.  That put me in a position (and still does) of complete disservice as a child and teenager.  To be honest, there’s nothing I find more cruel than someone who willingly refuses to participate in the life of the person they “participated” in helping to create.

Because of that, I’ve experienced a lot of resentment, anger, hate and years of unforgiveness towards my “father”.   Besides, how am I to know what my children’s father is supposed to be or do, when I didn’t have anyone to serve as that model for me?

You’re still what I need!   

I know people are probably saying, “just let it go”, “the past is the past”, but how can I, when it’s still affecting me mentally and emotionally, not to mention, my relationships with men.   I know how I want to be treated by a man, but I should’ve had someone teaching me the things to look for, watch out for and not settle for. Instead, I had to take what I experienced as a child, and use that as my guide for “dealing” with men.  That’s not to say men know it all when it comes to other men, nor should you expect one to tell you everything there is to know about men, because somethings are just pure common sense.  However, I believe had I had that male role model, it would’ve saved me from a few hiccups in my life, as it relates to men and relationships.

Regardless if you’re a young male or female, the role a father plays in your life is absolutely important and necessary.  We can agree or disagree, but a mother (no matter how much credit she gives to herself) cannot play or fill the void of a father! There are some things a woman can’t give to her child(ren), like a father would, and vice versa.  Although I am extremely fortunate to have my mother in my life, and despite her being there growing up, there are just somethings she couldn’t provide to me that my “father” needed to.  If that were the case, I wouldn’t be writing this.

Men, please understand that you are valued, loved and play a huge integral role in the lives of your child(ren), regardless if you’ve been told different.  I don’t care what your relationship is with your children’s mother, just don’t use it as an excuse to not play your part.

If you willingly choose to walk away or neglect your responsibilities, not only will you invoke immense pain upon your children, but they too may end up in Counseling one day, just as I am, trying to deal with the b****** my “father” did to me!

Sounds like hurt? Probably because I still am….just as I’m still questioning and still wondering what it would’ve been like had I had a father.  I know I’m older, but no matter how old you get, everyone still needs their father!

Writefully yours, 

Deetra La’Rue

WARNING! Objects in mirror are closer than they appear

WARNING! This is NOT a test! 

My name is Deetra La’Rue and I am a HUGE pie lover! Two of the best pies I love to eat, are sweet potato pie and key lime pie. Although they are both delicious, neither can compare to my absolute favorite, “humble pie”. I used to fight my past and tried every way possible to keep others from knowing what really happened to me. I was embarrassed about my upbringing and fearful of how others would perceive me, let alone act towards me.  As I grew older, I no longer wrestled with the idea of what people thought of me, but more so what I thought of myself. I knew I wasn’t the first to encounter adversity and challenges, so suddenly, I didn’t feel the need to be ashamed.

I knew God was using my situation to benefit others, as opposed to bringing me out of mine. No matter how much I fantasized or dreamt of finally “making it”, one thing I’ve always remembered, is to remain humble.   I’ve read many rags to riches stories and was disgusted at the fact that many people quickly forgot where they came from, no sooner than God blessed them with what they have.  The rich persona they portray to others was an attempt to downplay the poor person they used to be, while leading people to believe they were always “about that life”. That ******* irritated me!   I’ve never been too keen on the idea of people placing themselves above others or at the top of the hierarchy to increase their self-esteem and appear impressive,to say the least.

“***** BE HUMBLE”

No matter how successful I become, I’ll always remember where I come from and what I come from. Although my past is in my rear view mirror, it reminds me that “objects in mirror are closer than they appear”. Those objects alone humble me, and can resurface at any moment in time, if we’re not careful of how we treat others and good stewards over what God has given us. I used to have aspirations of being this rich, superstar, but I never subscribed to the idea of being too big that others couldn’t touch me.  

Honestly, my true identity would battle the facade, and not allow me to become so full of myself. I’ve had many people try to place me atop a pedestal, but I quickly asked to be taken down.  I had to let them know, I’m not above anyone, and besides, I am terrified of heights! I wish more people were cognizant of their past, so they can better handle their future. It’s not to say they should be held hostage to it, but it would at least give them a sensitive heart and feelings on how to deal with people, who share the same background as them.  I understand that no one wants to be reminded of where they come from, but sometimes we need it to help remind us of who not to become.

I get it! Palatial pads are nice to come home to, luxurious cars are great to drive and designer handbags and accessories are cute to own, but none of it is more valuable than your ability to remain true to who you are, and not the person you want others to believe you to be.  My integrity, values and staying real (regardless of how ugly my past situation was), makes me richer than 14kt gold!

Because of God, I consider myself to be pretty successful. However, if I ever had the gall to feel or act as if I’m more or better than others, I’ll take a quick look in my rear-view mirror, smile and remember, “Objects in mirror are closer than they appear”!

Writefully yours, 

Deetra La’Rue 

The Journey Begins

Welcome to Notes by LaRue!

I am Deetra La’Rue, a 34-year-old Writer hailing from Montgomery, AL. I’ve been writing poetry passionately since the age of 14, and have recently expanded into self-help/motivational books. I recently published my first book, Glitter but no gold: How I turned my wounds into wisdom, and am gearing up for the release of my second book, Let’s TALK! Conversations that need to be had, but often go undone. I’ve been through some pretty rough situations in my life, and I always remained quiet, because I just knew, there was no way no one could experience the things I had.  But, after the release of my first book and realizing the commonality I had with others, I decided to start a website that would serve as motivation and encouragement to everyone all over the world! So many times we find ourselves in detrimental situations that we feel we’ll never get out of.  However, it doesn’t matter how your story starts, but how it ends, and you CAN DETERMINE how it ends! So friends, (I don’t consider you to be a visitor, because that implies you’re only here for a little while) you can expect to receive daily notes and positive affirmations that will help you find the very thing I found for myself….happiness and freedom!

Writefully yours,

Deetra La’Rue

It’s okay to fall down sometimes. Just don’t stay there! — Deetra La’Rue