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Friday, April 29, 2016

Fine Fellas Friday: Allen "Apollo" Choice, RJ, Charles Bailey IV

Gosh I love Fine Fellas Friday. As I discover what my business can do and the type of brand I want in Hampton Roads, Virginia I am realizing that ultimately I want to praise people. I want people to walk away from Good Girl Chronicles feeling light, love, and empowered. I want them to use those feelings to write their stories, make their mark on social media, and then go help someone else. That is just the tip of what I want Good Girl Chronicles to do so I love this part of my job, praising good people.

This week I have three Fine Fellas to praise: Allen "Apollo" Choice (a former #mancrushmonday of mine), Charles Bailey IV, and RJ Nelson.  Man these men are killing it in love, their professions, their faith, and their grind. All things I love about a good man.

Charles Bailey IV: Full disclosure I have only met Charles once in real life. I went to Lynchburg a
few weeks ago to party and blog about the nightlife (YES they have ONE!). Anyway, I bumped into Charles as I was walking out of DISH, a swanky restaurant in Lynchburg, and I was immediately struck by his sense of humor and charm. Turns out Charles is a member of a Lynchburg band that I adore called, 'Apple Butter'. DISH turns into a dance hall after 10:00 p.m. on Saturdays, so Charles and I were yelling at each other in the restaurant. But even in the noise I learned a lot about Charles; his life, his passion, his interest in women, and he even complimented me. We've been Facebook friends ever since.

Charles and I joke that we should have a talk show about love cause we differ a lot yet we always have a good healthy debate about relationships. He is always quick to offer a witty, clever, or insightful response to my Facebook questions on love and relationships. I love a man who can debate and not get angry or insulting. Not a lot of people can do that I am finding. I could brag on Charles for hours, but more than anything I can see Charles has an amazing heart for his family, passion for his music, drive for life, and love of God. All great qualities-- and I learned all this from that chance meeting and our talks on Facebook. There is power in social media! Cheers to your Charles and here's to a great friendships IRL (in real life).

RJ Nelson-  Man I wonder if I can get through writing RJ's portion without laughing. I say that with
the sincerest sentiment. He knows why. We have had some incredibly funny moments together. RJ and I worked in the television news business together. He was the photographer. I was the reporter. Like any relationships there were days when RJ DROVE ME INSANE! WE would disagree, and fuss. But we always got the job done, and after the smoke was clear we forgave and moved on.. He was also one of the photographers I remember for being sensitive and positive even on the hardest stories. I could always count on RJ to make me smile when I felt tired, burdened, or in pain over the things I saw in the field. I also loved that we settled disputes quickly.  This is why I have so many guy friends. Most men are able to do this better than women. They fight, argue, pick at each other and the next day it's done. I love that about my male friendships. They don't stay in their feelings too long, and in turn I'm learning to do the same in business, love, and life.

Anyways- like many of us RJ went through tough times, moments he didn't think it would get better. But, RJ did something I respect. He turned his pain to God. He prayed to be a better man ( I already thought he was fabulous). He prayed to be a better father, a better partner, and worker. We all know faith without works is dead so RJ put in work. He hustled hard to get a job, mend fences, and love on his family. Now just as God does when it's your season, when He's ready to promote you--- God is blessing RJ in incredible ways. Most recently RJ got an amazing car he didn't think was possible. Now he and his daughter can ride in style. We praise an amazing God. Psalms 37:4 'Delight thyself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.' I know this to be true in my life and now in RJ's life. Bravo brotha. #keepslaying I love you to the moon and bad.

Allen "Apollo" Choice -  Let me bring this blog full circle. When I think of my brand for Good Girl
Chronicles, and myself as a business owner I am often reminded of Allen or AJ as I like to call him. I want people to feel better around me, and leave better than when they came. That is what I get from AJ every time we work together (he took a lot of my photographs for my Facebook page)  I met AJ way back in high school in marching band. Then he was much shorter, much louder, and a whole lot more unfocused. I will say this with love because I know AJ would co-sign on this. He has gone through valleys in life too, some far deeper than I could ever imagine. But like RJ and Charles; AJ learned what the Bible says about struggle, life, salvation, and renewal. We've had a deep conversations about the depths of the Bible and I was blown away at how much he knew about scripture.

Fast forward like 10 years. Time and space divided us, but AJ saw me on TV one day for WAVY News 10. He was told me he was proud of me and something about seeing this College Park girl (that's where I grew up in Virginia Beach) on the number one station in Hampton Roads made him see the value in himself. God I may cry. He shared this story with me when we reconnected, and I knew God brought us back together for a reason. I hope he doesn't mind me sharing this story, but I love you honey so much. I love who you are, what you are about, and how you love God. Now AJ is one of my closest friends and confidants. I hope one day he will let me share his entire story, but for now just know he is incredible and an example of what God can do when you trust in him. Jeremiah 31:4 "I will rebuild you and you will dance again."

Love you, Love God More

Lauren Hope

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

A Little Something About Sara Lee: The View from a Big Sister

 In my mind she was no different from the rest of us, except she had the ability to see the world through much kinder eyes. She wouldn’t see it for its possible dangers. She would run up to complete strangers and wrap her arms around them, smiling. It was her way of showing someone she liked them. She’s wasn’t special or handicapped, to me she was just my little sister. Her small eyes and facial features were beautiful. To me all of these things made my unique. To me and I family she was our little ray of sunshine, the person in our lives who taught us to love with compassion.

Her smile is always so pure, and full of happiness. She has this innocence about her, an innocence that will never allow her to fully understand the depth of the world in the way I would grow to see it.  She will never understand that the world would treat her different because of her speech or the way she looked. She wouldn’t understand the reason people stared at her or the mean things they were saying about her. But, I knew. And I could feel their eyes staring at our family and her. I could hear the whispers from behind us, and when I was younger it angered me.

It hurt me to the core that people would make fun of her. And some days it was hard to keep my head held high and stand by her as an older sister should. I’d hang head low away from the glaring eyes of strangers. My sister on the other hand, would look to me for reassurance. Not fully understanding the mean glares or whispers. She’d smiled, looking at me for her backup. But, I couldn’t return it. I was too angry and too hurt to walk proudly by her. Sometimes she would see this and she’d sink into her self a bit. That was worse than the mean comments, knowing I couldn’t stand up for her.

 Then one day something shifted in me. My family and I were shopping at a supermarket when some young boys started whispering mean things about my sister. And she looked at me again, gauging my reaction, searching for my reassurance, this time I didn’t turn away. ‘If you have something to say to her you say it to me, “I said in an assertive tone. The boys stared back at me shaking, nervously. And my little sister looked back at me and smiled.  It was a smile that came from knowing her big sis not only had her back, but held no shame. And I realized then that’s all she needed was some reassurance that her big sister had her back. It didn’t matter if the world didn’t see what a beautiful girl I knew her to be or that her differences are what made her special, it only mattered that I knew. And, from then I on I promised to always have her back.

I am so lucky to be a sister of a Down Syndrome child.  My sister teaches me everyday to not look at people for their outward appearance. She’s taught me the meaning of true beauty. And her love of life inspires me everyday to be a woman she’s proud of. Because, of her I am more patient, kind, and considerate. And while I know the world may never fully understand children with special needs, I don’t expect them to, but I hope we all come to a place where we are more tolerant and welcoming of people with special needs. There is so much we can learn from them. I also hope that people will take the time understand, even if it means asking questions. I hope people grow more compassionate to people with special needs they have so much love to give. And if you take the time you’ll find that like you and I they have the same desires to love and be loved, a bond that makes us more similar than different.

As a reporter at WSET in Lynchburg, Virginia I am proud I got to tell Sara's story. Because it is the story of so many families. And, as I move towards my new website I plan to tell a whole lot more.

Don't let the look of my site fool you it will not only be about love and liberation it will also be about heart, depression, family, falling down------  life.

When you subscribe to this month you will receive free weekly blogs from me. When it will cost just $1.99 to continue receiving those stories. Stories like this and I hope you join me. will always be here. But, once I reach 100 blogs I will no longer be writing here.

Love You, Love God More

Lauren Hope

Life After Depression: Finding Comfort in the Word

I am up early this morning because I hibernated the night before. It's been an intense few weeks. I opened my business, started sharing my battle with depression openly, I've started dating City Hall, and I'm learning who my real ride or die friends are. I find now when I lay my head to sleep I don't even need a sleeping pill to doze off. My body craves the rest. However, I honestly feel God wake me up before my alarm clock just about everyday. And, when He does  it usually means there is something on my heart I need to write and release. Today is one of those days. I woke up and watched a segment of Joel Osteen. I have them saved on my parents DVR. Today's message was about the joy you can have in life when you have Jesus in your heart.

Joel Osteen Made the Word Plain

I know how people feel about Joel Osteen. They say he is too happy, too optimistic, and he isn't really a Pastor. I don't know about all those things. I do know that in times of my deepest despair something about the way he delivered the word brought me comfort, and understanding. This morning he spoke about the story of the woman at the well in the book of John. I know this story well because I always find myself re-reading it. If I understand right the book of John is where Jesus is quoted the most, it's why people quote from the book so much. I could be wrong but I was told this from someone who knows the word better than me. Anyway, back to the woman at the well. Basically Jesus goes to this well and sees a woman. He asks her to draw water from the well and she can't. Back in those days people of different domination or cultures could not really be associated with each other and plus she was a single woman. Jesus was a Jew and she was a Samaritan. Again I did not go to seminary so this is a very basic explanation of this story, I challenge you to read it.

The woman at the well says basically Jesus I can't draw water from this well for you. Jesus says, I know of a well you can drink from where you can never go thirsty. The woman is taken back. How does a well like this exist? What she didn't know was that Jesus was talking of his living water, God's love and grace. Then Jesus says and this is how I know our Father has a sense of humor. Jesus says, "Go get your husband to draw from the well."

She says, "I have no husband."

Jesus replies, "I know you have had five."

BOOM! How explosive was that reply. A lot of people would have been like who does this guy think He is? But, she takes it. She realizes that this man knows her, her intimate secrets, her mistakes, and yet he still offers her a living water that never runs dry. HOW PURE IS THAT LOVE? I could go on and on about this story because it speaks to me so much but I really challenge you to read it. It is John Chapter 4. Well Joel quoted that story today in a sermon about joy. And it made me smile because I've been studying the book of John since I've been in recovery from my depression. It's like God wanted me to remember that story this morning.

I believe God can use even the most broken people to speak to his children. And, Joel Osteen is not perfect but on the days I don't make time for the bible I do get the word through Joel. He also has an amazing testimony in my opinion. Did you know Joel never wanted to Pastor Lakewood Church? In fact, he wanted to work in television production, work behind the scenes. Yet, when His father died He felt God called him to lead the church. Did you know Joel's mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer more than 30 years ago. DID YOU SEE WHAT I WROTE 30 YEARS AGO. She isn't supposed to be here y'all. That was not God's plan for her. Joel always says God can trump any medical report. I do also know that sometimes God does call his children home way too soon in our books. My Aunt Doris died of breast cancer and she was so young, and had so much more life to live. I am sad about that, but I know she lives in a heaven with many rooms. I've seen her there. God has brought us together in my dreams and we've talked. She is ok and for some reasons she is caring for two small children in a country home. I don't know who they are but maybe God called Aunt Doris to heaven to care for those two kids. Ahh I can't cry this morning.

Mr. Optimism: The Man Who Taught Me to Love the Word Again

I write this to say that God brings all types of people in our lives at certain moments to help us. For me it was Joel Osteen and a friend I'll call Mr. Optimism. I call him that because when we worked together for almost two years and I don't think I ever heard him swear, get angry, or lose his cool. What an awesome guy. I can't say I was that together when I was in television news. When we worked together at WAVY he always made me feel calm. No matter the story, the weather, or the circumstances I knew if I was with Mr. Optimism it was going to be a good day. I truly believe this is how God wants people to feel around His children. He wants us to be a beacon of hope for others.

Mr. Optimism would always tell me, "Lauren when are you going to stop working for these men and work for God? That is who you work hard for, write well for, and worship. Not this brick and mortar station that won't save your soul."

That was heavy eh? But I knew he was right. I just couldn't see that. I thought I had to lose sleep, give up personal time, swallow my hurt and depression to survive on television news. Some people still believe this.But, as a woman who lives with depression these were all unhealthy practices. Hell it's unhealthy for people with a clear mind. And, when the depression became unbearable and I left the television business it's kind of fitting that I turned to Mr. Optimism seeking help. He had left the business to travel the world sharing God's love. I didn't know where he was but I still had his number and THANK GOD it worked. Oh geez I'm going to cry. This man listened as I shared with him my suicide attempts, my feelings of loneliness, my troubles with my family, the pain I experienced seeing the worse of people as a reporter. He listened. He never interrupted, he never rose his voice over me. He just listened and it was so comforting. He came into my life the first month of my recovery, and I know God sent him to teach me how to love the word again. With my pain he responded with a scripture I never knew Jeremiah 31:4 "I will rebuild you and you will dance again." 

When I felt God would never forgive me for my past Mr. Optimism quoted Isaiah 61:3 "God will give you beauty for your ashes." Oh these tears this morning. Father thank you for sending that man at just the right time. He listened when a fight with my parents lead to a panic attack. I packed some clothes, and ran out the door. I could not reach my therapist or any friend but Mr. Optimism picked up. And for almost 30 minutes I cried and ranted. about the pain in my family, my weakness and despair. He comforted me with the word then too. He urged me to study the book of John. I did not need an anti-anxiety drug that day Mr. Optimism's words and direction comforted me.

"The Bible is a marathon not a race. It is your daily bread. Take your time reading it. If you only have a few minutes or  read a few lines. That is ok. You will find comfort there," he said. 

And he was so right.I have never--- I MEAN NEVER felt so much love in the word. I've been a Christian my whole life but this time I became a believer, a woman of faith, a student of the word. And, this Mr. Optimism lead the way. After a while I didn't need to call him as much, and in moment of hardship I remembered those scriptures he quoted, and then I began seeking the Lord for myself. That is what a good friend does. They comfort you, they listen, they sharpen you, and then guide you back to the one who gives the ULTIMATE COMFORT AND LOVE OUR FATHER GOD, 
The post-its hung around my room. I stole this from a show
called 'Being Mary Jane'

Now like Mr. Optimism said I am finding ways to get the word everyday. It is my daily bread. God will use broken people, co-workers, friends, PEOPLE to heal his children. And, that is what Mr. Optimism did for me. This is only a portion of what this man has done for me. We live thousands of miles apart but I consider him a dear friend. Thank you Father for bringing him back into my life so I could get closer to you. You know how much I've needed your Father to stay afloat. In Jesus name I pray Amen.
A song of comfort. In this song he says, "He met me in the depths of my despair to show me he wouldn't keep me there." THIS IS GOD'S LOVE AND GRACE

Love You, Love God More

Lauren Hope

My writing face morning

Sunday, April 24, 2016

This Is What It Is To Miss You

 I've been looking through some of my old writing and I found this gem. I wrote this about the loves of my life. They were beautiful, but tortured. I have come to accept he was not the one. So here from the value of Lauren Hope circa 2011, 'This Is What It Is To Miss You'.

Rain is hitting my widow pane, and with each drop memories of you wash over me. The way you looked at me like there was no one else in the room. The depth I could see in your eyes, like you really saw me, understood me, and with that understanding came a love that neither of us ever imagined.  I miss the way I could feel butterflies in my stomach right before you were about to kiss me. It’s this build up of tension, anticipation, and excitement. I can imagine feeling that same anxiety waiting for you to kiss me at the altar. I don’t know of any other man who made me feel like that. Almost every kiss was like that. I miss the way your lips felt against mine, soft, subtle. 

I miss how I could lose time in your arms. This is what it’s like to miss you. In the morning, I’d turn over and reach for you, and you always reached back, embracing me. I miss stroking your face, waking you up, seeing you smile at me. I could always feel the desire, and passion you had for me, in the way I walked, the way I moved, you made me feel a kind of sexy that empowered me. The darkness in your room, the soft music playing, the gentle kisses, how much I wanted you, the feeling of your light skin against my brown skin. Even though there is so much time and distance between us I can still remember what that felt like. I still shiver when I think about those moments. This is what it’s like to miss you.

 You had the cutest laugh. In no way am I a comedian, but you always found humor in my silliness. The inside jokes only you and I knew. We created this world of our own. No one really understands the bond between us, but it doesn’t matter. I loved being in your world. The way you listened when I cried, and gave the kind of comfort that always made me feel like I could fight another day.  You were the kind of rock I always imagined having in a partner, a true friend, a real lover, my man. You heard my voice, and at times gave it meaning when I felt lost. There were so many times you picked me up, and each time I always felt stronger. This is what it’s like to miss you.

 In this quiet room with the storm passing over me, I remember so much of what we weathered together. I left those storms weak, tired, angry, and weary. And, I can’t get back to that place, the place you and I built. There are so many times I wish I could go back to that place… those moments when I was your lady and you were my man. Why can’t we go back to that place? Why can’t the clouds escape me? Why can’t I let go of my disappointment, my hurt, my pain?  Missing you is a tormented feeling.   No more are the phones calls that would last hours, no more are the mornings we’d lay in bed, no more are the kisses I longed for. And, somewhere in missing you I’m trying to find me. The me I put aside to love you, the me I neglected to support you, the me I never knew. The more I let go of you, the more I find a little strength in me. But, that’s not to say it doesn’t hurt, that I don’t look back and remember the way you loved me.

This is what it is to miss you. This was our song--- it always makes me think of you. I remember our time, I smile, I cry, I get angry--- but I move forward for the man who choose me first, love me completely, and be proud to call me his baby.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Fine Fellas Friday: Giving City Hall the Heisman Part 2

The last time I tried to quit City Hall was because I was catching feelings. It's been a month of talking, texting, kissing, revealing each other's lives. I am not trying to marry City Hall or boo him up even, but I won't lie I think about that little no texting Latin man a lot. Neither of us is ready to be exclusive, a relationship is serious business, and when I'm ready I am going to require a lot of my man. Right now I want to enjoy City Hall's company and get to know him so the thought of me catching feelings presented a problem. So like any respecting, cynical woman would do I tried to give City Hall the Heisman a few days ago.

"I think we need to renegotiate the terms of our friendship," I texted City Hall one morning while he was at work doing what City Hall people do. 

"What is the renegotiation?" he responded.

"I think I want to give you a release boo, let you be free ya know. Listen I am a catch and I want more City Hall. I thank you for putting spark back into my writing again, and making me feel sexy, but I'm good now." Oooh I was trying so hard to be cold, cold like men do when they give you the Heisman. I won't lie it stung to type this.

"What exactly do  you want boo" City Hall texted.

I proceeded to tell City Hall I needed 'Good morning' and 'Good night \texts, someone to care about my day, and ask what I am doing.

" I feel you. I am not a very affectionate or passionate person,"City Hall said.

"I don't think that is true City Hall. I think down deep you are a super passionate man. I hear how you talk about your daughter, how protective you are of her, heartless people don't do that City Hall."

"She is the only little lady that has my heart." OMG at this point I am melting and trying even to be a bad bitch and cut him loose. 

"I'll miss you City Hall, you were so exciting."

"I'm gonna miss you too. You are so beautiful and friendly," City Hall texted.

"Hey I'm a cool chick, if you ever want to chat I'm only a text or phone call away."

So I let this simmer for about a day. I consulted some friends on Facebook and we debated about it. Some said I should give him his walking papers, other said sometimes you have to fight for a man. I thought about it for a day, and slept on it, finally decided whatever we are I wanted to give it a shot.

"City Hall this is stupid. I miss you, text me in the morning."

And, even though he doesn't normally--- he texted in the morning. We talked for a bit. He told me he was sick and a tough man so he didn't need help. I tried to comfort him and offer him help. Then we got to the nitty gritty of why I was so mad at him in the first place. 

"Look I am a basic guy and that irritates you. The thing is I've been through a lot Lauren so nothing really phases me anymore. I am heartless, and because I don't treat you the way other men have you question a lot of things I do. I am not a phone person so I don't call but I like seeing you."

"I accept you are not a chatty person. Hell I talk all day honey. And, I too have been through shit you can't even imagine. I have been royally fucked over by men who called themselves good. All I want to know is, do you like me City Hall?" Here I am asking for reassurance like a kid in elementary school. 

"I do like you. You are caring, nice, and you have a BIG heart," City Hall responded. 

"That's all I need to know City Hall. I still want that movie you promised City Hall. I want to see Deadpool."

"You just let me know when boo."

So that is where things stand with City Hall. I know people will poke holes in this, say City Hall is a player, and I am stupid. But, honestly I don't care. This 'Pretty Young Thing' makes me feel amazing. When he texts he sends something funny, or something that makes me feel like the hottest chick in the room. It is usually funny but sometimes it is sexy, and hot. And he is legitimately excited to hear when my business is doing well.  

I won't lie I am still mending a broken, bitter heart. I am working on that. I am praying that God helps me believe the good in men again, that I can open my heart again. And, maybe with City Hall he is already doing that. I am working to be patient with him, kind, and comforting. I am working to not unload him with problems but promote him with encouragement. I am striving to be a fun chick who can help him escape his stress too. So for now me and that communicated challenged latin man are gonna hang. We're going to go on date, make out, laugh together, talk about our dreams, and maybe just maybe------------- I'll let him call me his girlfriend... that is a strong MAYBE FOLKS!

Love You, Love God More

Lauren Hope 

Fine Fellas Friday: Giving City Hall the Heisman Prt One

Ahh the good ole Heisman. Yes, yes folks I have tried to repeatedly give City Hall the Heisman to no avail! If you are not familiar with this term as it relates to love let me give you a small sports history lesson.

Think Cam Newtown, Reggie Bush, and Jay Manziel. These are Heisman Trophy winners. The Hesiman Memorial Trophy Award, as it is officially called, is given to the best college football player in the country every year. The website says it's not just skill that earns these men the Heisman trophy they are also award for their character. Pretty cool right? A lot of the Heisman Trophy recipients go on to have rewarding careers in football. Or fuck it up like Jay Manziel. (sorry kid! I really hope you pull it together.)

It's like the Oscars of college football ladies, except they only give out one.  I could share more on what I know about the Heisman Trophy like that it was created in the 1930's or who it was named after. But for my lady readers I will move this along. Not everyone is a nerd like me and wants to know everything lol. If you are interested in learning more though click here The Heisman Trophy has an interesting history. It is also way more than a trophy they are a charitable organization. Man it's really cool what they do?

Now if you are unfamiliar this is how the Heisman Trophy looks. This is critical and important in understand how the  Heisman ( a football trophy) relates to love.

You see how the player is blocking his opponent? I could go into detail why the Heisman Trophy is like this or why they chose this pose but another time. I have written about receiving the Heisman as a teenager. The story is called 'The Dreaded Friend Zone.' Click on the title to learn more about the Heisman. This is the face of rejection. When someone gives you the Heisman in love, that means you have gotten friend zoned, or flat our rejected. I've gotten the Heisman so many times I should write a book. In fact, I already have ha! I am working on getting it into the hands of a good literary agent, and editor now. But, rejection is ultimately what I a talking about when I say someone have given me the Heisman.

Now that you are up to speed we'll talk about how I tried to give City Hall the Heisman not once but several times. The first time was because he didn't text me enough. Now I am not bragging but every man I have every dated gets super clingy when we start in the beginning. They call. text. email, and stalk me on Facebook. Now I am no Beyonce. I am not sure why these men did this. Maybe I have a knack for attracting needy men, men I want to save, nurture and love back to life. Now that I am writing this--that is probably WHY. FML! Why didn't I realize that sooner? Ugh so many years wasted. Well I can't get them back so we'll move on. 

Here's how City Hall responded to me urging him to call and text me more. 

"Boo I am always with my daughter?"

"Really City Hall? Really? Are you with your girlfriend,"I said.

"Boo, how many times do I have to tell you I don't have a girlfriend," City Hall responded. 

"Yea sure. Does your wife not let you make calls at a certain hour?" I said half way joking.

"Boo, what have I done to make you think I am lying to you? I am not always right but I won't lie to you." (I've had long time boyfriends who have never said this to me, men I wanted to marry no less.)

Damn have I become one of those cynical women who thinks the worse of men even when they are trying to show her different? Maybe I have. Now that City Hall is showing me that I am trying to change.

The next time I tried to give City Hall the Heisman, he stood me up for a date. BIG no no! I was fuming mad, and ready to be done with his ass. I had planned out exactly what I would say and how I would say it. I wanted to go all classy bitch on him. I wanted to stay polite yet slay him with my word play. Oh yea it was going to go down. I wouldn't question him or ask where he was. I was going to act like I gave two shits about why he stood me up. Side note: I know all the brothas reading this blog believe City Hall is running game. I know all my cynical sisters are telling me to run for the hills. But this is my love life damn it.

"City Hall you are an expensive dose of rejection," I texted.

"Boo, I'm so sorry my phone died, and I was at my pool league," he responded.

"Really City Hall ? Really? I'm supposed to believe that? Look boo do you. This was fun, call me when you have your shit together." Yes I actually texted this. This is Lauren Hope trying to be a gangsta. Lolo trying to be tough and not show she was super bruised by being stood up.

"Look boo, everyone is pissed at me," City Hall then proceeds to send me screen grabs of all the messages he missed. People giving him the 'f' bomb for not calling them back the prior night. Now you can say this is game. It may be. It's good game if it is. ( I am still a cynic.)

"City Hall you piss off everyone."

"I know boo. I'm sorry how can I make it up to you?" Awww I am melting.

I'll post part two of this blog at noon.

Love You, Love God More

Lauren Hope

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Why I love Butterflies

They are the nervous flutters in your stomach, the indication of attraction, excitement, and desire. 

They are beauty and grace. Their wings vary in colors, and they glisten in the sun. 

As much beauty as they have they also go through hardship, struggle, yet they endure. 

People will look, stare and see nothing to adore. They  may call you ugly, funny looking, or look away. They don’t think much of your presence. You draw into yourself, hide yourself from their glares. You endure the taunts, the jabs, the cruelty. They are like barbs thrown at your skin. You shield from the hurt inside your cocoon. You try not to let it consume you. You keep working inside of yourself. Learning to love what resides inside more than the outside.  You are milling along, working, surviving.

Then something in begins to take shape. The jabs they threw at you have made you stronger. With your strength you break through the cocoon you made to protect yourself. The place that confined you now is defining you , learned so much for those days inside that cocoon. Now you are ready to break through the confines of this space. A small sliver of a wing comes out, then expands. 

They are amazed at the colors of your skin, the radiance you exude. Each move and wiggle is a victory, breaking off the pain those people pushed on you. 

Before long the cocoon is nothing but lingering skin. All that is left is you. You stretch, you pull and spread yourself out wide. The barbs those people threw at you have made you stronger, and wiser. You will never forget how they treat you but you won’t let it define you. You have a new stride now.  A new glow.. a new you. I am a new creature, a woman reborn, a butterfly broken free from her cocoon. A diva, a hustler, Lauren Hope Mena Compton AKA COMPTON AKA LC AKA Lauren Hope. I am a butterfly. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Depression: My Rawest Confession

I am not proud to say I was so depressed I wanted to end my life. But, that was my truth before I left the television business. I am sharing this story to show you the ugliness of depression. I want you to know that I understand. There are people out there who have or had it worse than me. My new mission is to help those people with my story, to encourage others to speak up, and find resources for those in need. That is one of the many missions of Good Girl Chronicles. I hope you support my journey, and if you feel like you want to help make a small donation and share this story.

You can learn more about my mission at

Love you, Love God More

Lauren Hope

Monday, April 18, 2016

The Real Me

It's been about four months since I took my life back from depression. In January, when I asked God what I was going to do with my life next, He answered.

"Baby girl you are a writer. You always have been, you always will be, so write for me honey. Write about your passion, your pleasure, your pain. Then show my children what my grace can do. They will say look how it saved Lauren, maybe it can save me too,"God whispered.

Since then I've opened my heart to address what is often a private pain, depression. I have shared with you how it felt kissing a man after two years of thinking no one would ever touch me or love me. I wrote how amazing it felt to date City Hall, a guy I would normally consider out of my league. I've showed you all of the amazing people God has brought into my life to restore me, praise me, heal me, and love me. You have also seen all the people who walked away, the fake friends, the TV people I adored, and a reunion I wanted so desperately to happen. I have laid my soul bare because I feel it is part of my calling, and I hope in some way it shows you how beautiful God's love is. 

In January I made a bold move to share with you all why I left WAVY News 10 essentially ending my television career at the ripe age of 30. It was a hard thing to write and it shocked a lot of people. My family was scared for me. They worried I would never get a job again, or that people would judge me harshly. But this is my walk not theirs, and I am no longer afraid of sharing that depression almost took my life. It is scary how close I came to ending it all. That is my truth. Now that I am healthy please know that I work hard everyday to keep depression at bay. I take my medications, I go to therapy, I surround myself with people who make me feeling amazing, and I finally have a job I love again.

Since I've reemerged the support has been amazing. Strangers on Twitter are applauding me, friends in private are sharing their pain as well, and everywhere I go people want to hear more of my story. That is how I know this is God's plan. My business is not making money right now, but in my heart I know that will change. We (God and I) will travel the country talking about depression, news ethics, and getting back up when you're down. We will vacation and God will show me his beautiful world. I will fall in and out of love. I will meet great men and not so great ones. I will restore my broken relationships in my family. I will be stronger, tougher, and more courageous. I know these things because these are the desires of my heart, and because I Delight in you Father I know you will bring these things to past. 

SO HERE I REPOST MY REVEALING STORY OF WHY I LEFT TELEVISION FOR THE NEW FOLLOWERS AND THE ONES THAT HAVE BEEN HERE SINCE THE BEGINNING. I want you to know why I do what I do. Why I post selfies to show the world a curvy woman can be sexy too. I write of my pain to show God can release you of yours too. I share my love life so you can see a broken woman like me can be courted, love, admired, and desired. It is intoxicating the love you receive when you believe in yourself. I show you the people who are loving on me so you can see what the Bible means in Proverbs where it says "Iron sharpens iron so one person sharpens another." I reveal my heart to you in hopes you see God there too. I am not perfect. I will make mistakes, but know everyday I am chasing God's love, and trying to live his dream for me.

The Real Me By Lauren Hope
(January 8,2016)

Man this is going to suck. But here it goes.  This is the Lauren Compton you all know. She was a 30-something  television reporter who was on top of the world. I loved my job, my car, my dog, my life, and I truly believed I would find Mr. Right one day. I felt popular for the first time in life. I had invitations to go to dinners, event, concerts, you name it.  And for the first time in a long time men looked at me different. They thought I was sexy, marriage material, arm candy. I have never felt that in my entire life. I’m a simple Tomboy from Mississippi who hoped to become a lady one day. And I had some amazing loves, or men I thought that loved me. For some it was only the glitz and glam of dating a reporter.  But I didn’t see it and fell head over heels for some really crumby dudes. I almost married one. Can you believe that?

Well I’m here to tell you that is not who I am at all. I always felt I had to be perfect for my family, my boyfriends, my jobs, even my closest girlfriends. I’m not saying I wasn’t real with any of you--- I just made it a point to only show a certain part of myself. THIS IS ME a few weeks into January. I have dark circles from insomnia. scars from where I picked my face raw, my lips have healed but they too were red and bloody. In my depressive episode I would pull out my hair, pick my face, and lips. I wanted to look as ugly as I felt and I felt like the lowest of the low. In this picture I was just starting to get my confidence back, but I can still see the signs of my depression.

There are a handful of people who have seen the real me. … like the real me at my lowest. And I’m grateful those people still loved me. It has made me realize that the real me, the one God created is worthy of love, attention, care, and happiness. 

I’m sorry for those of you I couldn’t really face it has nothing to do with you. But now at 31 with many failed relationships behind me--- three of them have already married but I wonder if they are really happy. (that’s another story) After facing the toughest year in life, thinking I wouldn’t make it to 2016 I can’t take the bullshit anymore (excuse my French) The last few days I’ve had to some major house cleaning in my life because of it. A LOT, and it hurt like hell. It still hurts.  So yea--- this is the real me. At 31 I’m finally ready to show her to the world. And – you know what if a man loves the real Lauren fantastic—but if not I’ll find a way to make peace with it. I know now I have amazing girlfriends, an amazing family --- who love this overweight, insecure, book nerd, three toned faced (ok I should stop lol) woman. I AM READY to reintroduce herself as Jay-Z would say. So there you have it. This is me. I’m finally coming out. You’ll see me out a bit---- I’ve gained a lot of weight so don’t be startled. I’m working on it with a lot of help. But—I learning to love this real Lauren and I hope you love her too.

April 19. 2016
The Real Me: Lauren Hope
It is hard for me to read what I wrote in January. It reminds me of how much pain I was in, and it still hurts me I got that low. But today I am so much stronger than I was in January. I am gaining confidence, I am dating, I am making new friends, and I am a business owner something I never thought I would be. God your  love is amazing. Jeremiah 31:4 says, "I will rebuild you and you willd dance again." God I know your work is not done yet, but I am dancing in a way I never danced before. Thank you KB my dear friend for sharing this scripture and showing me how to fall in love with the word, in doing so I fell in love with our Father. 

Some of my wildest dreams are coming to pass. Like Psalms 37:4 says God wants me to have the desires of my heart; a good man, a good job, financial security, a full passport, the ability to make a difference, to save lives, and folks that is just the tip of the iceberg. God whispers secret dreams to me at night, ones I never considered, and when I rise in the morning I feel compelled to chase them. Thank you God for loving me so hard, for being ride or die when so many people couldn't. You comfort me, you cheer for me, and your voice in my life is moving mountains. I move by faith not by sight. 

Now it is time to live in my dreams. Good Girl Chronicles will be an LLC very soon and when I will be offering Social Media Consulting, advice on blogging, and writing. I hope to be a beacon of hope for the depressed and mentally ill. I will travel the country with my message, and I'll have deep talks with beautiful souls. I will fall in love maybe with City Hall maybe with someone else and it will magical. I will meet Dwayne  Johnson and I will try not to cry but it will happen anyway. I will tell him how he inspired me, and he'll be super honored. I will go to Hawaii, Paris, Costa Rica, and back again. I will have the desires of my heart, and continue to delight in your Lord. This is my new journey, my new path, and if you want to follow me --- follow my blog, twitter, instagram, or facebook I will share it all. If  you want to invest in this dream go to my gofund page 

This is my new mission.....I have a story to tell, will you be there to listen.

Love you, Love God More

Lauren Hope 

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Lolo's Favorite Love Tracks

I am restless. I've been up since 2:00 a.m. I have a charity walk tomorrow so I should be sleep. I am sipping on this intense blueberry beer I got from Total Wine. It has a 10% alcohol content but it is not putting me to sleep which usually means I need to write something. So here it is. I've had some intense talks with people on social media tonight about love, renewal, looking good without makeup, depression and recovery. Not all of the discussions were public, but I enjoyed each and every one.  This is why I love social media. My mom thinks its the devil, and I get that. But, I believe this social media thing is going to get me paid real soon.

Tonight, I am feel all mushy inside. I keep thinking of that Janet Jackson song, 'That's the way love goes.' I also can't get this one scene from Sex and the City out of my head. I've posted about it before. It's the scene where Samantha Jones and her boss Richard are swimming on a a New York roof top pool. She gets out of the pool and Richard starts playing Sade. Samantha does not want to play this game. She does not fall in love. (how I feel right now) She knows how sneaky, and messy men can be so she uses them and keeps it moving. But, here is this fine, successful, strong, good in bed man who is now asking her for something deeper than sex, real intimacy. She resists at first, but eventually gives in, it's one of Samantha Jones's most raw, real moments. She has a lot of them when she starts dating Smith. (If you never watched Sex and the City this won't make sense. And if you haven't what the fuck is wrong with you. Rent it, buy it, own it. It is genius television about women, sex, love, and relationships among other things.) This scene is so beautiful and well acted. It shows the difference between good sex and real intimacy something I think we all want eventually.

And, that Sade song playing in the background was perfection. It's called 'By Your Side'. That is required listening. It is a beautiful song about love. When I hear it I think of walking towards my husband on a bright, sunny day. He is getting teary eyed, we are at a beach or an outdoor setting. I walk slow trying not to buckle from the happiness in my body. I finally reach him, and I look in his eyes I can feel real, passionate love. It's not the love that makes you marry for a baby, for  money, cause we're old; it's the kind of love that you marry for cause you can't see yourself living without that person. I am humbled this beautiful man decided I was his one. Music is powerful. I drew all of that from that Sade song so I share with you some of my favorite love tracks. These are not all.I will release more over time but these are the ones that get me going now.

They are not in any order.

1/ I've Been Thinking by Jlo - so sweet, so humble.Its on her This is Me Then album when she almost married Ben Affleck It's so sweet. It's about letting go and letting love come in. And also being woman enough to know when you can give love and you can't

2. Forever by Chris Brown: I love it because of this scene The Office when Jim and Pam run off to get married at Niagara Falls cause The Office ruins their wedding. It is such a beautiful moment. I say this often but I want a love like Jim and Pam Halpert. My last love Lyric used to want this type of love too or so I thought.

3.Wreckless Love by: Alicia Keys I love it cause it goes back to the beginning of love the sweet moments. The moments I love with City Hall right now. They are so new and so tender. I wanna live in these moments forever. I feel so amazing when I'm with him. He makes me laugh, and his accent kills me softly. I wanna let him love me if he can. I wanna have a wreckless love one that doesn't care that we live in different cities or have different backgrounds. 

4. With You by Jessica Simpson. I am sad Jessica and Nick Lachey did not work out . They had a great love story but sometimes it's like that. But this song is so sweet. It talks about being able to be free with your love and that's what it should be like. I can let my hair down. I can say anything crazy and I know you catch me right before I hit the ground. I know a lot of men want this too. They tell me  so. 

5. Heartbeat by Carrie Underwood. ahhh this was one of the first love songs I learned when I got out of my depression. It made me remember how sweet love can be. It made me remember how intense it can be when two people just connect. 

6. Thats What Love is About By Stacie Orrico - Stacie is a contemporary christian artist. The first one I ever listened to. Some friends in Costa Rica turned me on to her. And this song.. oh oooo this song melts me. It talks about what the Bible says about love and it makes me kow that God wants me to have a love life. He wants me to find a man to hold me, comfort me, lead me, know me, grow with me... a man to live with me.

7. Dance Like We're Making Love by Ciara. Man is Ciara underrated I've listened to  her music and she slays. This song is so fucking hot, and they arent even talking about having full on sex. I've shared this with guy friends and they admitted it made them hot too. WHy? This is the ultimate Good Girl song and men , good men want a Good Girl. This song says look let's not have sex, but let's dance like we're making love. Let me grind you and show you how good I am, but let's wait. Now I believe she either wrote this song or picked it because of Russell Wilson, her now fiance. I watched interviews with both of them. And Russell said God told him to lead her, and to remain abstinent. God told him to restore Ciara and show her how a good man loves. Ciara did a radio interview where she confirmed the song was about Russell. DAMN I love their love story.And the VIDEO is FUCKING HOT! She slays yall give her a hand.. follow her, praise her she deserves it especially after Future. Case closed. 

8.XO By Beyonce. I can listen to this song over and over. It makes me feel the joys of falling in love. I love the line where she says, "I search through the crowd your face is all that I see. I give you everything, love me lights out." mmm how beautiful is that? You better kiss me before our time has run out. Oh City Hall please tell me you love like this...  

9.Adore by Miley Cyrus - I know how people feel about her but I love this song. Her voice, the rapsy way she sings.. It does something to me and the lyrics are so sweet. I feel that little Miley has a little more depth to her than we see. I dunno listen for yourself. 

10. Adore by Prince - Last but not least Prince. I have to end with an oldie but goodie so yall know I love ALL love songs. Maybe next time I will just do the oldies that light my fire. This song is sooooo fucking tender, sweet, and romantic. It's my mother's favorite song. It is about  how deeply a man loves a woman.... ugh Prince why do you make me melt? 

I have to go start my day now.. and try to focus hahaha.. I hope you enjoyed this. Tell me your favorite love songs.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Allow Me To Reintroduce Myself: Lauren Hope

Many of you know me as Lauren Compton from WAVY News 10 or WSET or MTV's Choose or Lose campaign in 2008. I had an amazing television career, starting from my internship at WAVY New10 to becoming a production assistant and New Media Content Specialist at NBC 12, to Backpack Journalist for MTV's Choose or Lose to Bedford County reporter at WSET, to General Assignment Reporter at WAVY News 10. I am thankful for every opportunity, all the stories I got to tell, and the people I got to meet. I am so humbled you all welcomed me into your homes via your television, phone, or computer. You are why I am became a journalist. Since I was a little girl I wanted to tell stories, and my career as a television reporter allowed me to do that. I am so grateful that God presented that opportunity.

Little Lauren. 

I never intended to be a television reporter. I was going to school to be a family therapist at Tidewater Community College when my Public Speaking teacher encouraged me to give television news a try. I don't remember her name, but chick wherever you are thank you. Thank you for sewing a seed in me. I looked into Broadcast Journalism and fell in love with the idea of being a story teller. I quickly changed my major and applied to Virginia Commonwealth University. It is there I developed my passion for journalism, where I learned the power of words, holding people accountable, and being brave enough to tell bold stories. Thank you VCU. When I get the money I plan to donate, donate, and donate. What I learned at your institution was invaluable!

Over the years I've gotten to do so many amazing things, and my name Lauren Compton has been all over: blogs, television websites, MTV News, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, a psychology research project, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Special Olympics, the list goes on and on. I am so proud of my name. I always tell people, "It's Lauren like Ralph Lauren." Then I will say, "It's COMPTON like the city," and people always chuckle or connect with me. My name has broken down barriers with interview subjects, made people sing 'California Love', and earned me street cred even when I don't deserve it. Your name is power

I am a television reporter turned writer, blogger, consultant, public speaker, and soon to be mental health advocate. I am departing from my television past. I am grateful for what it has taught me, but I am on a new course now one that is bold, fearless, and unapologetic. I will be talking about sex, love, depression, relationships, Obamacare, mental health, special needs, and so much more. These are things I could not discuss as a television reporter. I plan to publish a book some may view as risqué especially my parents and family. But it is my life story to tell. My father and mother are for the most part private people. I AM NOT! I  NEVER HAVE BEEN! So in the interest of protecting them I plan to now go by Lauren Hope AKA Lolo. My friends may still call me COMPTON, or LC. I love that. But I would  like to be called Lauren Hope. I will be published under this name, all interviews in the future I will go by this name, and my social media personality will be under this name. I know this will be a tough transition for some.

I am sorry this is long. I felt the need to explain why I am now going by Lauren Hope. I now introduce myself as Lauren Hope formerly Lauren Compton of WAVY News 10. I am separating myself from my television career because my new one is uncharted territory and I want it to be my own.
So as Jay-Z once said, "Allow me to reintroduce myself."

My name is Lauren Hope. I also interact under @LaurenHope84 on Periscope, Twitter, and @LoloSlays84 on Instagram. These are my middle names which I adore. I hope you love them too.You can still connect with my television viewer fans on my News Personality Page Lauren Compton. I still value those connections so I interact with viewers there who know me as Lauren Compton. Viewer support has been amazing by the way in Lynchburg and Hampton Roads. Thank you for the love you have shown me.

On this blog you can read about my love life, my depression, my love of God, my views on relationships, how I am trying to piece my life back together, among other topics.
I hope you continue this journey with me. It is bound to be an interesting one.
  • Facebook: Lauren Hope or Lauren Compton or my business page Good Girl Chronicles LLC
  • Twitter, Periscope, Instagram: LaurenHope84
  • Gofundme:
  • Email:
  • Youtube: Good Girl Chronicles or search Lauren Hope

What I learned about men dating & loving : Part One

I may be a little battle worn. I've been dating since I was 16. and oh what a roller coaster it has been.
I've dated:

  • A Pretty Boy
  • An Romantic Islander
  • A New York Bad Boy
  • A Suave GQ Brotha (my first real love)
  • A Tech Savy Puerto Rican (who broke my heart)
  • A White Pretty Young Thang
  • A Muscular Firefighter
  • A Will Smith Look A like 
  • An Urkel Turned Stefan Brotha (He is Mr 8.5)
  • A White Musical Brotha ( That is Lyric! The man who after 3 years says he never loved me)
  • A Flashy Successful Father
  • A Washed up Wanksta
  • A Skinny Indian man (my first and probably last)
  • A Man With Several Degrees but no heart
  • And of course my current boo thang City Hall 
I wish I could say this was it y'all but it's not. Lol. I said I had a healthy dating life. Don't get it twisted though. I did not sleep with all of these men. These are men I've dated, loved, broke up with, or had a good time with. There are more but I won't show my full hand today. Dating these damaged, amazing, handsome, funny, complicated men has taught me A LOT! This is some of the knowledge I've learned from them. Oh, and if you want to hear my love stories with these men some will be on the blog but a whole lot will be in the first book GOOD GIRL CHRONICLES! Working on getting it copy edited now.

What Men Like

Now I am not the authority on this topic, but dating has taught me a few things about what men like. This may not be true for every man but it is true for the ones I've dated.

1. Men Love a Funny Woman - I am a huge goofball! And the more relaxed I am with a man the more I will show him my silly side. I'm learning just like we women love to laugh, men love it too.  A woman who can joke herself and her man is very SEXY! I'm not sure why but men love this. I've had inside jokes with most of the men I've dated, and we constantly picked on one another. Honestly it kept the passion alive.  Here is how I joke with City Hall (my current boo thang).

City Hall joked the fact that I love this rapper named Tory Lanez.

He said, "Fuck that clown!"

"City Hall stop that's my new bae," I replied.

"That clown slept with my baby mom in a studio once."

"What you're kidding? OMG City Hall that's terrible. I definitely look at him different now." (God I'm gullible)

City Hall starts laughing. "Wait is this is a joke? City Hall really. really? I was getting so mad for you."

"I had to boo, you were feeling him so hard," City Hall said.

 There will be payback City Hall just watch. I am smiling even now thinking about that exchange. This is the artist in question, my new bae Tory Lanez.

2. TMI Most Men Like a Bare Woman - Now I know this is a sensitive topic ladies, and a little risqué. I'm going to go for it anyway. I have a lot of guy friends and we've talked about the whole bare versus bush debate. Honestly most men I've talked to like a bare woman down there. Now there are exceptions to the rule, but most like it bare. Why? I'm not sure. Ask your man the next time you're with him. I've heard they like to see your lady bits. It's cleaner. I dunno. I won't go into that too much more because this is a Good Girl Blog just get to know your man and ask him what he likes.

Also--- ladies let's talk about Brazilians! I have contemplated getting one, but a girlfriend told me she had to pop two aspirins and was still in pain. I'm sorry I'm not paying top dollar to be in pain for temporary smoothness down there. I have found this stuff called...wait for it... COOCHY by Pure Romance. It is a conditioning shave cream that can be used as a shampoo. It is amazing. You can shave down there, smell nice, and it's smooth. If you want details I have a friend who sells it through a company called Pure Romance in Virginia Beach. Her name is Kendra Fowler and you can find her on Facebook or call me I'll connect you.

3. Confidence is Sexy - When I am at my best I am a confident, fierce woman. I am Lolo that fun, vibrant, funny, silly, sexy, curious, loud chick that likes to party. When the depression is raging or I'm having a bad day it is harder to be that person, but I try. What I've learned from dating is that men LOVE A CONFIDENT WOMAN! A woman who carries herself like she is the shit! That is a huge turnoff for a man. A woman who is comfortable in her skin and sexuality drives a man wild. When I have been my most confident self I have had the best lovers, the best experiences, and I've received the best from men. Something about being with a confident woman makes a man want to try harder. TRUST ME! You want your man to come correct show him you are a QUEEN. If he is worth his salt, he will rise to the occasion to be the KING you want him to be. Trust me.  Here's a window into why I dig City Hall.

"Babe, I love that you are on your grind," City Hall texted me one day.

"What do you mean?" I asked.

"You are so smart, and you're doing this business. I'm proud of you," he said.

Now City Hall had only known me for two weeks at this point. I was hella impressed to see this kid text this (City Hall is younger than me so I get a kick out of calling him kid. Makes me feel like a sexy cougar)

"Oh baby, you just watch. I'm about to slay and then I'm gonna upgrade you," I texted back.

"Bet!", City Hall replied, "Bet."

4. Let's Talk About Sex: Men love a woman who is comfortable in her sexuality. There are exceptions to this rule as well. Some men like having an inexperienced woman so they can lead her, teach her, mold her. Ok, that's cool if it gets your rocks off. But, a lot of men want a woman who can talk comfortably about sex, her body, and what she wants. A good man is a pleaser so he wants to know what you want in bed. I will leave it at that. Remember what Tweet said back in the day. HOMEGIRL KNEW HERSELF!

5. Men need a cheerleader: I don't care if he is Kanye West, the man on the corner, my man squeeze Dwayne Johnson or a regular Joe ALL MEN need a cheerleader. I believe a woman should support her man and his dream whatever it is. I dated a man who wanted to be a trash man. He did. I said, "Well baby you better be the best damn trash man there is."

Now I didn't expect him to stay a trash man. When I say be the best I mean be about your business. If you are the trash man learn the route, learn the business, and then learn how to own it.  Ladies a man does not need to make six figures right away to be a good man. TRUST ME! If you support your man, tap into his potential, love on him when he needs it, praise him in public, and reward him in private HE WILL RISE TO THE OCCASION. He will want to be better.  He will not just want to be in the company, he will want to run it. This is what a good woman does for her man.

Here's another insight into my love affair with City Hall.

"What do you wanna do City Hall?"

"A lot boo! I got this prototype, and some real estate plans in Richmond. I'll tell you soon," he replied. I had only known City Hall for a week  at this point so I understand why he played it close to his vest.

"Really? Well maybe I can help you get your product out there. I am working on becoming a Social Media Consultant," I replied.

"You would do that for me?"

"Why not? You have made me feel fabulous again like 'Stella Got her Groove Back'. It's the least I can do."

City Hall appeared shocked,"Not too many women will do that for you."

"City Hall, who have you been dating? All the chicks I know want to help their men. It's what we do boo."

"Respect. I respect that. You are beautiful boo!"

"Thank you City Hall. Now are you going to eat the rest of that sandwich or are you going to give it to me?" I said eyeing the remainder of his deli sub. City Hall is lean as fuck. I on the other hand am a curvy woman who does not like to waste food so I ate the rest of his lunch.

Now ladies this is just a little of what I learned I will share more PROMISE! I'd love to hear what you've learned. Let's sharpen one another. Tell me what a man has taught you about loving.. but let's keep it positive. The good fellas out there could use some love.

 I leave you with this--- a song that makes me melt every time I heard it. I imagine my husband, our wedding, our first night together.... and a life in which we slay together.

Love You, Love God More

Lauren Hope

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Love on the Brain: Anticipating City Hall

City Hall and I have had some good talks lately. I opened up to him about my deep depression, the difficult time I had last year, the suicide attempts, and how I am fighting with all my might to get my life back.

"Why would you do that? Why would you want to take your life?" City Hall asked.

"I just....I can't explain how sad I was City Hall. I felt like I had nothing left. Nothing to live for," I replied.

"Well, honey I think you are amazing. You are ambitious, kind, and grounded. I'm sure glad you stuck around," he said.

WHO the FUCK is THIS man? Dudes don't talk like this to me. Men are always spitting some game to get in your pants, but here this 27 year old Latin man says honey you are enough.

"I'm glad too City Hall. I have so much to live for, and God has set my heart on fire to make my business work."

"Congrats! I'm really happy for you."

And, I know that happiness is sincere. I can't tell you the men who have been jealous of my television career, or my writing. I can't tell you the friends who hurt me because they didn't feel I deserved to be in leadership positions or given certain treatment. I can't tell you because even though I've forgiven them it hurts me that people I love couldn't support me at my high points. I know I didn't let a lot of people help me when I was at my lowest, but honestly a lot of people didn't try. I don't blame anyone. God had to show me that it was Him and Him alone that I needed to conqueror life, my depression, my passiveness, and my fear. I have made peace with the fact that I had few friends last year, I overate, decided not to shower, slept days away. That is the ugliness of depression. Now that I know how low I can go without the proper meds, support , and care I plan to stay healthy. And, now that Lolo is back she is determined to help others going through it. 

But back to City Hall. If I listened to my girlfriends City Hall would be old news. They say he is too young, and bad for not traveling to Virginia Beach to see me, Well know this, I don't share everything about me and City Hall. That's the way it should be. I won't say every thing he's done or said to make me feel amazing, strong, fierce, sexy, and like the baddest bitch in the room. That is between us. I am not his girlfriend and I want it that way. I want to get to know him, spend time with him, and then decide if I want to take him off lawaway so to speak. Like Jon B they don't know about this here.

One day I'll be amazing wife with hopefully one kid and a kick ass husband. But, right now I want to focus on my business, and enjoy getting to know City Hall. I don't need a boyfriend, or someone up under me all the time. I just want some male company who understands I am fabulous and busy. And, in my heart I think he wants that from me too.

This week will be like a month of us talking, and the infatuation is strong. Let give you a window into us. A window into me as a lover and friend.

Here's some of what I omitted on that kiss date.

He took me to the observatory deck of City Hall again, and this time no one was there. We had finished lunch and I knew we didn't have much time left.

"Well what are we going to do now?" I said slightly nervous.

He looked at me with those brown eyes, and whispered, "Come here."

At this point it's hard for me to swallow. You should know this about City Hall that man wears a fitted suit everyday to work. And he looks damn good in it. He has a slender physique and he knows how to color coordinate. But, back to the moment.

I step closer, and City Hall puts his hands around my waist. He draws me closer, and like the movies I close my eyes. Our lips touch. (umm is it me or is it hot in here) I am thrilled he has soft lips, and I can feel his arms pulling me in closer. This is the stuff romance movies are made of. This is the moment we all love, the beginning when it's all fresh and new. Sometimes I wish I could live in those moments forever. The moment took me back to my school days when I loved this group called Hi Five. They had a song called 'Kissing Game', and I heard it play in my heart. I could have stayed in that moment for a long time. But, we stopped. He looked at me, and smiled.

"You have nice lips. I like kissing you."

"Me too," I said heart beating a mile a minute.

I swallowed this lump in my throat and tried to play it cool.

"Well til next time City Hall," I said laughing. I laugh when I am nervous. I walked away and I could feel his eyes on me so I turned around. Yes he was watching, and smiling.

I see you City Hall. I see you boo. Keep doing you! Do Right By Me, I Do Right By You

Even if City Hall doesn't end up being my man I have learned some valuable lessons about going for what you want, the power of confidence, and sometimes it's ok to be the one who asks a man out. So while it doesn't look like on the outside that it's amazing-- it's ok cause I know it is.

Til next time City Hall.

And if you let me.. let me love you .. you won't regret it.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

There Are Tears In the Love Game: How I feel about City Hall

Three dates, three weeks, one chance meeting in Richmond City Hall. That's all it took for Lolo to get smitten. For now I'm not sure where we stand.

For starters I am NOT City Hall's girlfriend. We are getting to know each other. He is funny and kind. He told me my stretch marks were beautiful. He complimented my smile, and said he loved my hustle. I was so proud of myself for sliding him my number. Even though he is younger than me City Hall has drive, and heart. He has real estate plans in Richmond, and an amazing prototype I want to help him promote with social media. In a short amount of time I have made City Hall a habit. We text when he isn't juggling work, his daughter or his family responsibility. The dude has five brothers, and in the Latin community family looks out for one another. But I always want for more. That's who I am. I am slightly needy and skeptical about men.

"I will find dirt on you City Hall. I always do," I said.

"Trust me you won't," he laughed.

I kept searching and he was right. I looked in New York, and Virginia anything to prove he was another man playing me. Fuck it's happened too many times to count. I am tired of being played so I've turned into one of those women I said I would never be. I expect City Hall and all men to fail me. I do and that sucks. I have lost my romantic spirit. The part of me that expects a man to do wonderful things for me.

I mean look at my history. One past love wrote blogs about me and shared it; even though he knew it could tarnish my reputation. One past love yelled at me, slammed doors in my face, told me he hated me repeatedly, and said my recovery from depression killed him; even though it saved me.  The man I thought was the love of my life impregnated two women within a year of each other and then married one of his baby mamas. Then this GQ looking fella had the nerve to say he wished it was us that got married. Yea that was an appropriate thing to say. I would like to say I dumped all of these men once, but I did not. I went back for seconds. Like Rihanna said on her Rated R album, there were all Cold Cases Love and I let them reach me one more time. That's enough.

 I am broken.  I am tired.  And I am bitter so City Hall is a breathe of fresh air. There are no expectations. WE just enjoy one another, and I need that. Even though I struggle trusting him as far as I could throw him. That is on me. He has done nothing to show he can't be trusted.

I want to believe in Disney love, but I can't. The real world has shown me that sometimes Prince Charming is a wolf in sheep's clothing. He comes smelling good, looking divine, and talking sweet. Then he destroys. He takes your confidence, he steps on all your hard work, he tramples your good name, and then he leaves without a care in the world. That is my love life y'all. I was too stupid and too trusting in my twenties and it lead to too much heartbreak. I vowed after my depression to never be that chick again. NEVER. I won't let a man willing play me again. I will hit the door before it happens. Call it childish. I can't do it anymore. My heart won't do it. I am crying because I am sad this is the woman I am. I was a hopeless romantic. I believe in Corinthians, but I am human and God I'm tired. Let's just work on me for a while. Let's just hustle hard to get Good Girl Chronicles off the ground. Cause I can't take another man pretending to me one thing, taking from me and leaving. Then he gets married, and suddenly becomes a good family man. I can't do it God. I need a break from this love thing. It hurts too damn much.

So here's where City Hall comes in. He is part of two sports leagues, helps his large Latino family, a baby daughter, and a baby mama. There is simply not a lot of room for me right now. He sincerely tries. He texts in the morning, and at his lunch break. He texts on weekends and on a few occasions has called even though he struggles with phone conversations. I can't help but appreciate the fact that he is trying. Isn't that what I say I want all the time, a man who will try, a man with potential, and drive?

I adore City Hall dearly for being cute, sweet, and funny. For the first kiss and the sweet texts. For sharing that sandwich our first lunch when I refused to eat, for showing me the observatory deck, and giving me an ounce of hope that a guy like you could like a girl like me. I adore you for the kiss on the cheek and the nice hug, and that damn smile from the City Hall counter. The smile that made me be brave slide you my number. Thank you City Hall for making this broken women feel sexy, fabulous, and fierce. I already knew it but when you came into my life you reaffirmed it. That's what I think a good guy does.

Until next time City Hall.... until next time........ It's like that Miguel song... Sure Thing. Do right by me City Hall I do right by you.

Love You, Love God More

Lauren Hope AKA Lolo AKA Totally Single AGAIN