What Makes you YOU?

Mylena Sutton

What’s your “personal culture”?  Ah, I bet you’ve never even thought about it. Most normal people haven’t, at least not in those terms. Think of it like your personal rituals, traditions, and daily habits. Your personal culture consists of the things that you do on a regular basis that reflect what is important to you. It gives you distinction and character, and makes you feel like yourself. It’s what makes you YOU!

What makes me ME?

  1. I NEVER travel for Christmas, and I make a big dinner, even if I’m NOT expecting guests. 
  2. I spend part of Thanksgiving with people. I have to have at least a couple of hours of that day by myself.
  3. Since I turned 40, I ALWAYS make a big deal about my birthday. The celebration ALWAYS includes both an educational experience and something featuring the arts. (This year’s celebration includes a Gregory Porter concert and a visit to the US Supreme Court.)
  4. Even if I go alone, I make at least four personal trips a year to NYC because I love walking through the City.
  5. My morning coffee is a ritual unto itself! I have coffee every single day (I’m so particular about my coffee that I really don’t like anybody else’s coffee – You can keep ‘em all, Starbucks, Dunkin, Seattle’s……). 
  6. I listen to audiobooks while doing my hair. 
  7. I wear only one perfume at a time (I only own one fragrance at a time) because I like the idea of a signature fragrance. Sometimes, one of my NYC trips is for the purpose of perfume shopping.
  8. I host a small gathering of girlfriends every 3 – 4 months, and it’s very important to me that they don’t feel responsible for bringing anything. It’s not a potluck. It’s my invitation to self-care and reflection with a group of sista-friends, not more work!
  9. I make a new recipe at least twice a month.
  10. I talk to my mother and my favorite senior citizen every Sunday.
  11. My contribution to potlucks and group meals is almost always dessert (probably pound cake).
  12. I don’t value manicures or pedicures, but I’ll fight over my eyebrows. 
  13. I rarely wear my hair straightened because I think it makes me look matronly (although somebody tried to convince me that it made me look like a sex kitten and would increase my odds of snagging a boo).
  14. I watch certain movies over and over and over and over (The Color Purple and the Jurassic Park series are my favs!)
  15. I got to the beach (Jersey shore) monthly from May – September and plan a 4 day staycation every quarter.  AND I go alone. On purpose.


Soooooooooo, what makes you YOU?
What are the things that you do all the time that you really enjoy? Own those things and do them in grand style or at least with passion. I mean, girl, who do you want to be? Start being her by doing her. On top of that, think about who you aspire to be, put her lifestyle on your goal list….AND START FIGURING OUT HOW TO GET THERE! It took me years to commit to fully sponsoring my quarterly sista-girl brunch, but I really wanted to do it. Now, it just feels like “what I do”. You don’t become the fabulous, soulful, and happy woman of your dreams by wishing – you set the steps in motion to become her! 

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