Bloganuary Day 10

Welcome, dear followers, to Bloganuary Day 10! We are into week 2 of the month-long challenge, and I can happily say that I’ve been able to keep up with all the posts so far! My determination to establish a morning writing routine is coming through!

…even if the posts sometimes don’t go live until after dinner…

Has a book changed your life?

Initially, I thought I would respond to today’s prompt by talking about how my love for reading books inspired me to be a writer…

But then something inside me said, “You talk about yourself and writing too much. We’re bored, darling. Switch it up. Talk about love!”

Yes, love.



I am a romance author after all. 😉

Photo by Yaroslava Borz on

So when I think about love, there’s one book in particular that changed my love life for the better, and I’m not even sure if that was the author’s original intention.

That book was Michelle Obama’s Becoming. A few years ago, a co-worker lent me her copy to read. I personally am not the biggest fan of nonfiction/biography/autobiography/self-help books. Although my stories do tend to have an essence of truth in them, I prefer to live in a world of imagination, to escape the mundane. But I decided to read Becoming because, at that time, everybody and their grandmoms were talking about this book, and I wanted to see what all the hype was about.

I’ll be honest, I don’t remember much about the book, but the parts I do remember are the parts about her relationship with Barack, specifically the early days. How this new, young hotshot lawyer with a weird name came and swept her off her feet. How, when they had their first kiss, he sought her permission before he kissed her.

Reading that line in particular made me stop and think…

Out of all the boys and men I’ve dated in my 30ish years of life, how many of them asked for a kiss before they swallowed my lips?

How many of them waited for an invitation to touch me before they grabbed a body part that didn’t belong to them?

How many of them understood “Netflix and chill” as simply that—Netflix and chill—and arrived at the door with food and a movie recommendation we could fall asleep to rather than a pack of condoms (or without the pack of condoms but still having the expectation of sex)?

How many of them asked for my consent before they stripped naked and pounced on me like I was something to conquer, assuming consent would eventually come?

Out of all the boys…how many of them simply asked for my permission, even to touch my hair?

Only one.

And he had a name, like Barack Obama, that was unfamiliar. He wasn’t the type of guy I normally dated. He wasn’t Christian. He wasn’t Black. Hell, he wasn’t even American. In fact, when he told me he was here on a temporary visa that only had six months remaining, the first thing I said to myself was “Nortina, do not fall in love with this guy. He is geographically unavailable!”

But I couldn’t help it. He swept me off my feet, and I fell.


Head over heels.

Because he was kind, respectful, a joy to be around. He made me feel comfortable, and most importantly, he made me feel safe.

Safe enough to go on an overnight road trip with him after knowing him for only a few days.

Safe enough to share a hotel room with him without fear of being coerced into sex in the middle of the night.

Safe enough to leave the country with him during a global pandemic!

I never had anxiety when I was alone with him, as I had with other men. I never had to worry about his intentions when he stopped by to visit or invited me over to his place.

When he first told me he loved me, two weeks into the relationship, I was shocked that he could develop feelings so strong so soon, but when he explained why, I realized I loved him too, even though I was too afraid to admit it at the time.

And when I think about how reading that chapter in Becoming made me feel, I remember how our relationship started. First, he asked for a hug at the end of our first date at the movies. And on our second date, he came to my apartment, and we talked until it was late, and then he asked if he could kiss my forehead. And after we said goodnight at the door, he took a few steps toward the stairwell, stopped, came back, and asked, “Is it okay if I kiss you on the lips?”

From that moment on, I knew I would always say yes to this man, for the rest of my life.

So in short, Michelle Obama’s Becoming helped me to realize my self-worth in relationships and showed me that there was a man out there who valued it. That alone has brought out the hopelessly in love romance writer in me, and I’ve written so many stories inspired by his love. Here are a couple:

logo: cartoon of girl with glass and her hair tied in a bun reading a book

Is there a book you’ve read that changed your life? What about your love life? Let’s continue the conversation in the comments!



5 thoughts on “Bloganuary Day 10

  1. Before you met that angelic man, had the thought crossed your mind that you’d like it if a guy asked for the first kiss? If so, what did you do to implement that and how did you react when (most guys) didn’t even do that?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Never crossed my mind! I kinda just accepted whatever was given to me. When I got older, I tried to set boundaries, but it was always like pulling teeth. But when he came around, he made being with him feel so easy, and that’s when I realized I was settling for less.

      Liked by 1 person

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