Is Nataya Unique your real name?

Yes! My parents gave it to me at birth. When I was younger, I was particularly embarrassed by my middle name. All of the other kids had common names like Marie, Ann, and Lynn. I, on the other hand, had an adjective.

As I grew older I began to appreciate it more and more. I felt blessed to have such a strong, descriptive name to which not many other people had. It also felt complimentary to my first name, which was also different and one of a kind.

How would you describe yourself?

I’m a corky, hippie type of woman who loves Cardi B, Harry Potter, and essential oils. I enjoy singing and dancing (though I’m terrible at both). And I’m a woman of color who has faced both discrimination and racism, but hasn’t let it taint my view on people who don’t look like me.

I thoroughly enjoy tacos and believe I could eat them every day and be just fine. #fatkidchronicles ❤️

I used to be ashamed of my big heart and colorful soul because I thought it was a weakness. I’ve made the mistake (more times than I’d like to admit) of caring for others more than do for me.. to the point of being taken advantage of. I now believe that wearing my heart on my sleeve isn’t a negative thing but just one more piece of the Taya Puzzle. One that I just have to be aware of and be sure to protect.

It’s one of those things I can’t seem change.. like being a woman, and being Black. But I love it, and I’m learning every day more ways to love me.

Why do you Blog?

I’ve found that it’s a great way for me to explore ways to promote concepts like self-care, living in the moment, and recognizing Beauty in everyday things. I enjoy writing about my personal experiences and how social and political issues affect my life as a Black woman. This journey we’re each on is a beautiful gift, and I hope to help people remember that through my writing.

Is blogging your profession or just a hobby?

A hobby. I’m actually a full time research analyst and work in higher ed! I realize that most people get into this work to make money and notability, but that’s just not me. At least not now, at least.

I began my journey so that I could give voice to the life of a different type of woman. Social media (and the internet in general) show millions of young women living their very best life… and it’s usually beautiful, polished and perfect. I wanted to simply show that you can live your best life while also being perfectly imperfect.

Do you really believe in all this “wellness” mumbo jumbo?

Yes I do. And not just because I have education and training in psychology and counseling, but also because I’ve personally adopted the idea of being mentally healthy and have reaped the benefits of doing so.

I learned about coping skills and applied them to my everyday life. I identified my triggers and found ways to managing the effects of them. I looked back on my life and drew correlations between my experiences and who I am today.

But most importantly, I sought counseling. Therapy is something I suggest everyone try at least once in their life. No longer is the stigma of seeking help from a therapist an indication of being “crazy.” Rather, now it is becoming a more acceptable part of society and being recognized for the positive change it can have on people and their lives.