I am humbled and excited to have written the February cover story for ESSENCE, my first national magazine cover. Especially since it was completely unexpected.

A few months ago I got my first blown-up magazine cover to put up in my cubicle. Various cardboard covers are posted around the office and as people leave new owners take over. It felt right that my first big cover would be of a group of fine men from April 2003. I was so excited when it went up that I posted a picture on Facebook with my cover.


Evidently, I hadn’t captioned it right as folks commented congrats on the story and they couldn’t wait to check it out. I had to clarify I had a blowup of the almost decade-old cover, and had not actually written the story. I also felt I had a few more miles to cover before writing a cover story.

Well. Life happens and my number was pulled. My neighbors probably thought I was fighting a zombie as I screamed when I read the news in my Blackberry a few weeks ago that I would be interviewing Iyanla for the cover. The experience was unexpected as I almost did not even suggest myself when our team was considering writers. But fate is an interesting thing. I might not have foreseen this opportunity but I was certainly prepared. I had been quoting Iyanla Fix My Life to my boss and other coworkers since the show came on with Iyanla’s amazing phrases and one-liners. I still read Acts of Faith and many of her books. And the second I found out I would be interviewing her I was googling, watching, reading and praying for guidance to write something that helped someone. Because with all the pretty phrases and puns of writing, if it doesn’t touch or connect with someone, I haven’t done my job.

I may be stretching to call it a job to chat with someone I admire and appreciate. We talked about life, love, losing it all and finding yourself. I laughed as she shared how her grandson checked her for not having cookies in the pantry and was a sponge as she broke down how our ancestors impact how we live today. I also was surprised at her honesty on her being single. Please do pick up the issue for her ten secrets to having and holding on to joy, one I’m already pushing to do more of which is to share your testimony.

Tweet me your thoughts @Charreah!

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