Bold Love: A Letter to My Young Sisters is a love letter full of personal experiences, science and deliberate encouragement to help one move through the challenges related to self-esteem, absent relationships and racial challenges. This body of work is written through the eyes of the writer as if she were her younger self. Bold Love speaks to young ladies and women that may not understand the pathology of their behaviors. Bold Love uses poetry and anonymous testimony to normalize any reader that may feel like their problem is one that only they have faced. Bold Love creates a platform to encourage self-reflection and makes a plea for one to accept their reality and not live in fantasy by holding on to what one believes should have been. The love letter is to encourage a young generation to learn who they are and where they come from and to not allow unfavorable circumstances stunt the promise that was put on their lives.
Excerpt from Bold Love
Dear Black Girl,
My journey is worth journaling and one that I believe can help someone else. Learning to love myself is a continuous process, and I humbly welcome the growth that has taken place. Humbled because there was a time when I thought that to look at me was to see a fat, unhappy, girl with two birth defects on her face, also known as dimples. Humbled because I did not let the taunts about my weight or the fullness of my lips tear me down to the point of no return. Humbled that despite what seemed to be a life story chronicling dejection and self-hatred, I am a survivor of my own mind. I made the choice to release the negative thoughts that had plagued the mind and soul of a young woman who was yearning to feel normal. My journey is one that I was too shy and embarrassed to discuss: I have come from the absence of a parent, sexual abuse, being talked about, wondering why the boys did not like me, and hopelessly gazing at my friends and others that I felt had better lives than mine.
Interview with Terri M. Bolds
Who you are and what are you about?
I am Terri M. Bolds, Licensed Therapist, Author and Public Speaker. I am the founder/owner of Bold Visions Consulting, which was created to educate the community on mental health with an emphasis on self-esteem and self-empowerment.
Tell me why you decided on your career.Why not something else?
I made up my mind in high school that I wanted to be someone that helps guide others. I would describe what I wanted to be as a professional mentor. There were so many that helped me through tough years and I understood that if it had not been for them I could have been on the negative end of statics.
What projects are you looking to do in the future?
I’m looking forward to traveling as a speaker/author educating people about mental health with an emphasis on self-esteem and self-empowerment. I hope to get my books in schools, colleges and such where the books would suitable for their respective audiences.
How did you start writing/teaching? Or what led you to that profession?
I wrote a lot as a kid. I was timid, shy and had no other way that I felt safe to discuss my feelings. I used to journal, write stories and poems. When I was 23 I was diagnosed with epilepsy and almost dropped out of school because my cognitive functioning was so damaged. I never thought after I completed my degree , that I would ever be doing much more writing. I developed my passion for teaching while I was in my practicum in my graduate program. It was also there that I knew, I would not be doing individual therapy for the rest of my life.
Your influences and goals?
I have had many influences. Bold Visions Consulting, is me addressing the needs of my younger self. Answering the questions, writing the books, facilitating the workshops I needed as a young person. I had many teachers, mentors and just kind people to help guide me. My mom was a hard worker and did more at my current age than I ever had. She had a house, three children and maintained her family since she was 20. My mom struggled, but never quit, I have a lot of her in me. My uncle is the other influence. He was that positive male role model that pushed me and had unspoken expectations for me. He is ultimately the one that coached me into being an entrepreneur. He even named the business. My goal is to be known for my passion about mental health and self-esteem/self-empowerment. I love watching people’s stories on television, family, friends, randoms, PEOPLE INSPIRE ME.
What projects are you looking to do in the future?
I’m looking forward to traveling as a speaker/author educating people about mental health with an emphasis on self-esteem and self-empowerment. I hope to get my books in schools, colleges and such where the books would be suitable for their respective audiences.
What are you currently doing now, in terms or other projects?
Currently I am contracted with Cincinnati public schools implementing my bullying program, and soon to release my second book.
Receiving a BA in Psychology and Masters in 2006 from Wright State University; she worked as a therapist for a short period of time before taking positions as an Associate Professor, Mental Health Specialist and substitute teacher over the years.
In 2015, Terri founded her business Bold Visions Consulting focusing on esteem, and empowerment as if she were addressing her younger self. With Bold Visions, Terri has been able to conduct and facilitate workshops, speak and educate on mental health in schools and churches with youth participants; and have been featured in printed publications. Having a passion for writing, Terri released her first self-published booked “Bold Love- A Letter To My Young Sister in 2016, and Bold Choices- They Say I’m Bad to follow summer of 2017.
In partnership with Cincinnati Public Schools, she is helping implement the importance of mental wellness and practices of anti- bullying, not only by teaching and literature but also using visuals, interactive activities and experiences.
With more to come, Terri will continue to empower and encourage by traveling and speaking to the masses about the importance of mental health and wellness.