I began December 2014 fading out of consciousness on an operating table while the human resource officer at my job sent me several emails to ensure that my surgery was in fact serious enough to merit taking time off work.
At the time, not only did I had a demanding international development job in a work environment that could only be described as toxic, but they put so many bureaucratic hurdles in place before I could take any sick leave that it made my recovery keenly stressful. My colleagues were petty, management was vindictive, and the hours were long with a demanding traveling schedule. By the end of that year, I decided I was going to quit my job. Nothing about what I was doing--my salary or the trajectory of my career--was worth my health or general happiness. I was tired of living only to work.
I'd been to Panama City for the first time on a work trip in 2012 and immediately felt at home. With it's booming economy, beautiful coastline and thriving diversity, Panama City reminded me of the Miami of my childhood. After a few trips, though, I realized that I wasn't immediately ready for the daily bustle of city life so soon after leaving the dark rooms and dark suits of Washington, D.C. I also needed to improve my Spanish before being thrust into the busy streets of Panama City. Instead, I chose Bocas Del Toro, a series of sparsely populated islands on the Caribbean coast with more jungle and beaches than people, as my initial entry point into Panama.
Since moving to Panama, a lot of people have asked me exactly how I did it. It was a huge leap, but I'm glad to be able to share my experience in hopes of helping others to escape jobs and environments that don't fulfill them.
Here are a few tips on how to quit your job, pack up your life, and move abroad to live the life you've always dreamed about!
1. Pick A Place That Fits Your Needs
There are many places in the world that you can go; the opportunities are endless. However, it's important to pick a place that fits your needs as well as the lifestyle you want to lead. Almost a decade after my first trip abroad, I now value being close enough to home that I can see my family when I'd like to, leaving winter behind as a distant memory, the ability to integrate in the local culture rather than the party scene, and freedom of mobility. I was certain that I wanted to be in a place that I could learn Spanish, make local friends, and safely walk to the beach whenever I pleased. I also wanted to be in a country with a thriving economy and opportunities for me to pursue a serious career if I choose to stay. Oh, and cute guys…
Did I mention cute guys already? If not, move that reason to the top of the list.
Ultimately, it's necessary to be honest with yourself about the standard of living you expect and have a sense of what you're getting into before you arrive. Date the place(s) before you commit: take a few extended trips to the place(s) you're considering moving to before making that leap. Having lived abroad before, there were things I was willing to compromise on in terms of standard of living: now constant access to wifi and 24 hour electricity--even hot showers--are no longer essential for me. However, I can distinctly remember how long I waited for the water heater to kick in and the water to get hot in my first Cairo apartment before realizing it was never going to happen. Not that day or the next, or a year later.
After much research, I picked Bocas because it fit my most important requirement: being able to learn Spanish at one of best Spanish schools in Central America located near the beach, Habla Ya Spanish Schools. Even after over a year of Spanish classes in Washington, D.C., I would have been too timid to even engage in a conversation in Spanish with a native speaker a month ago; however, I've learned more in a month at Habla Ya than I did in over a year of Spanish classes twice a week in D.C. Learning the language provides me with the basis for being able to fully integrate into Panama as well as build a career here.
2. Pick A Date
Once I'd chosen where I wanted to go, I had to choose a date that allowed me enough time to prepare for the move. The wisdom of picking a date comes down to the fact that it gives you something to look forward to. At work, I kept a post it with “November :)" stuck to my computer monitor as a reminder that this was just a “Poe sort of misery with a Frost sort of hope."
I began informing my close friends and family about my plans to move and the expected date months in advance. This might seem superfluous, but I realized that few people actually believed I was leaving. I'd remind them that I intended to move to Panama and my friends would simply smile and nod indulgently before continuing to make plans as if I would still be around! The unspoken expectation is that there will always be something holding hold you back--a cause too great or a relationship too important--and that is only true if you treat it as such. Since the night of my going away party and even now, people are still a bit surprised that I actually walked away from it all and moved.
3. Get Your Finances In Order
The perception is that people who choose to move abroad make that decision brashly, this couldn't be farther from the truth. My life experiences have made me a firm believer in the financial independence of women, especially women of color. Before I moved abroad, I diversified my portfolio: I invested some of my money in stocks, bought rental property to generate some passive income, and then kept some money in my savings as a cushion for my move. It's a misconception that you have to wait until you make a certain amount of money to invest, save, or buy property. Depending on your state or lender, there are a multitude of resources available to help first time homeowners buy a home with nothing down or only a small percentage down payment.
"You don't have to wait until you make a certain amount of money to invest, save, or buy property."
Websites like WiseBanyan help you make strategic investments based on your needs. Ultimately, what type of financial planning works for you depends entirely on your needs, your income, and how risk adverse you are. However, one thing that I would strongly recommend is setting up a separate bank account just to save for the move. Having a percentage of my salary automatically deposited into a separate account each month prevented me from spending that money elsewhere and allowed me to set goals and monitor my progress via Mint.
4. Do What You Want To Do
Decide how you want to use your education, skills, and interests abroad. Certain people have jobs that they can do anywhere or skills that are globally in demand. Despite the idea that living abroad is something only for the wealthy or retirees, there are a variety of way to go abroad for an extended period of time and have the cost either completely or partially covered, or make a living doing that something that interests you. Some examples are the Peace Corps, Boren Fellowship, Jobattical, U.N. Jobs, U.N. Volunteers, Help Stay, and Help Exchange. There are also many opportunities to teach English abroad in places like Vietnam, Spain, South Korea, and Chile. Additionally, if there is a particular organization you are interested in working for, contact them personally to see if your background matches their needs. It's important to do the legwork to get your plans in order months in advance so that you have an opportunity to meet deadlines, and change your plans if necessary.
After having such a grueling work schedule for so many years, I knew that I wanted to define my professional success in my own terms in this new chapter. For me, this meant placing more value on the impact of what I'm doing, the joy it brings me, opportunities to grow, and the flexibility of my schedule rather than how much I make and the title on my business cards. Rather, I wanted to focus on learning Spanish, and invest time in improving my writing and photography skills. With that in mind, I chose to not immediately “get a job" in the traditional sense. I saved up enough to live frugally for at least three months, but wanted to make my savings last for as long as possible. I began looking for opportunities to volunteer my time in exchange for Spanish classes months before I intended to move. Luckily, my skills matched the current needs of Habla Ya and we were able to work out a deal for me to assist them with marketing and social media for three months in exchange for Spanish lessons and living accommodations. Once I get my Spanish to at least a conversational level, I'll feel more comfortable job hunting in Panama City or elsewhere.
5. Make New Friends
A big part of moving abroad is making a fresh start, which often means leaving your old friends behind. Many people worry about not being able to make new friends abroad and expend a lot of energy in reaching into their social circles to find out if their sister's neighbor's best friend from sixth grade knows anyone who lives in the country they're interested in.
While I did have a few people put me in touch with their friends in Panama City, I didn't know a soul when I landed in Bocas. Because learning Spanish is important to me, I wanted to avoid the cliquish “expat bubble" of English speakers that is often an inevitable consequence of being connected with friends of friends beforehand. Instead, I've stepped outside my comfort zone and joined in on group activities and taken classes at Bocas Fight Club to meet local people. I regularly stop and make conversation with shop owners or people around my neighborhood in order to get to know my new community. I also asked the administrative staff at Habla Ya to recommend someone to be my language exchange partner. Immediately, a staffer paired me up with his sister, Kimmy. Realizing that we have some of the same interests, she and I now spend some nights conversing in Spanish then in English about music, dating, life, and our respective families. Interestingly enough, I doubt I would have met her if I didn't take make the conscious decision to prioritize fostering relationships with local people. However, I still spend some time with expats for the ease of speaking English occasionally without making them my primary social network.
6. Pack Light
Some people get rid of everything. I, on the other hand, was happy to give my couch to a guy from Vermont who'd just moved to D.C., but I wasn't willing to part with my shoe collection, artwork, or a hand painted dresser I once made an ex-boyfriend drive three hours into Virginia to buy for me. I decided what to pack and what to keep based on whether or not I'd be happy to pay for this item to be shipped to me internationally one day. Based on this criteria, I gave away certain things immediately and sold others. MakeSpace dropped off storage bins for me to pack up the rest and conveniently came to pick them up and store them for me. No hassle. I left D.C. with just two suitcases (and, unfortunately, not enough sunscreen).
7. Finally, just Go
Why are you still reading this?! Go out there and make it happen!
France Francois is a writer and world traveler currently learning Spanish at Habla Ya in Panama. Read about her travels and adventures redefining what it means to be black and abroad on her blog or follow her on Twitter: @frenchieglobal
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Amber Riley Is In Her Element
Amber Riley has the type of laugh that sticks with you long after the raspy, rhythmic sounds have ceased. It punctuates her sentences sometimes, whether she’s giving a chuckle to denote the serious nature of something she just said or throwing her head back in rip-roarious laughter after a joke. She laughs as if she understands the fragility of each minute. She chooses laughter often with the understanding that future joy is not guaranteed.
Credit: Ally Green
The sound of her laughter is rivaled only by her singing voice, an emblem of the past and the future resilience of Black women stretched over a few octaves. On Fox’s Glee, her character Mercedes Jones was portrayed, perhaps unfairly, as the vocal duel to Rachel Berry (Lea Michele), offering rough, full-throated belts behind her co-star’s smooth, pristine vocals. Riley’s always been more than the singer who could deliver a finishing note, though.
Portraying Effie White, she displayed the dynamic emotions of a song such as “And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going” in Dreamgirls on London’s West End without buckling under the historic weight of her predecessors. With her instrument, John Mayer’s “Gravity” became a religious experience, a belted hymnal full of growls and churchy riffs. In her voice, Nicole Scherzinger once said she heard “the power of God.”
Credit: Ally Green
Riley’s voice has been a staple throughout pop culture for nearly 15 years now. Her tone has become so distinguishable that most viewers of Fox’s The Masked Singer recognized the multihyphenate even before it was revealed that she was Harp, the competition-winning, gold-masked figure with an actual harp strapped to her back.
Still, it wasn’t until recently that Riley began to feel like she’d found her voice. This sounds unbelievable. But she’s not referring to the one she uses on stage. She’s referencing the voice that speaks to who she is at her core. “Therapy kind of gave me the training to speak my mind,” the 37-year-old says. “It’s not something we’re taught, especially as Black women. I got so comfortable in [doing so], and I really want other people, especially Black women, to get more comfortable in that space.”
“Therapy kind of gave me the training to speak my mind. It’s not something we’re taught, especially as Black women."
If you ask Riley’s manager, Myisha Brooks, she’ll tell you the foundation of who the multihyphenate is hasn’t changed much since she was a kid growing up in Compton. “She is who she is from when I met her back when she was singing in the front of the church to back when she landed major roles in film and TV,” Brooks says. Time has allowed Riley to grow more comfortable, giving fans a more intimate glimpse into her life, including her mental health journey and the ins and outs of show business.
The actress/singer has been in therapy since 2019, although she suffered from depression and anxiety way before that. In a recent interview with Jason Lee, she recalls having suicidal ideation as a kid. By the time she started seeing a psychologist and taking antidepressants in her thirties, her body had become jittery, a physical reminder of the trauma stacked high inside her. “I was shaking in [my therapist’s] office,” she tells xoNecole. “My fight or flight was on such a high level. I was constantly in survival mode. My heart was beating fast all the time. All I did was sweat.”
There wasn’t just childhood trauma to account for. After auditioning for American Idol and being turned away by producers, Riley began working for Ikea and nearly missed her Glee audition because her car broke down on the highway while en route. Thankfully, Riley had been cast to play Mercedes Jones. American Idol had temporarily convinced her she wasn’t cut out for the entertainment industry, but this was validation that she was right where she belonged. Glee launched in 2009 with the promise of becoming Riley’s big break.
In some ways, it was. The show introduced Riley to millions of fans and catapulted her into major Hollywood circles. But in other ways, it became a reminder of the types of roles Black women, especially those who are plus-sized, are relegated to. Behind the scenes, Riley says she fought for her character "to have a voice" but eventually realized her efforts were useless. "It finally got to a point where I was like, this is not my moment. I'm not who they're choosing, and this is just going to have to be a job for me for now," she says. "And, that's okay because it pays my bills, I still get to be on television, I'm doing more than any other Black plus-sized women that I'm seeing right now on screen."
The actress can recognize now that she was navigating issues associated with trauma and low self-esteem at the time. She now knows that she's long had anxiety and depression and can recognize the ways in which she was triggered by how the cult-like following of the show conflicted with her individual, isolated experiences behind the scenes. But she was in her early '20s back then. She didn't yet have the language or the tools to process how she was feeling.
Riley says she eventually sought out medical intervention. "When you're in Hollywood, and you go to a doctor, they give you pills," she says, sharing a part of her story that she'd never revealed publicly before now. "[I was] on medication and developing a habit of medicating to numb, not understanding I was developing an addiction to something that's not fixing my problem. If anything, it's making it worse."
“[I was] on medication and developing a habit of medicating to numb, not understanding I was developing an addiction to something that’s not fixing my problem. If anything it’s making it worse.”
Credit: Ally Green
At one point, while in her dressing room on set, she rested her arm on a curling iron without realizing it. It wasn't until her makeup artist alerted her that she even realized her skin was burning. Once she noticed, she says she was "so zonked out on pills" that she barely reacted. Speaking today, she holds up her arm and motions towards a scar that remains from the incident. She sought help for her reliance on the pills, but it would still be years before she finally attended therapy.
This stress was only compounded by the trauma of growing up in poverty and the realities of being a "contract worker." "Imagine going from literally one week having to borrow a car to get to set to the next week being on a private jet to New York City," she says. After Glee ended, so did the rides on private planes. The fury of opportunities she expected to follow her appearance on the show failed to materialize. She wasn't even 30 yet, and she was already forced to consider if she'd hit her career peak.
. . .
We’re only four minutes into our Zoom call before Riley delivers her new adage to me. “My new mantra is ‘humility does not serve me.’ Humility does not serve Black women. The world works so hard to humble us anyway,” she says.
On this Thursday afternoon in April, the LA-based entertainer is seated inside her closet/dressing room wearing a cerulean blue tank top with matching shorts and eating hot wings. This current phase of healing hinges on balance. It’s about having discipline and consistency, but not at the risk of inflexibility. She was planning to head to the gym, for instance, but she’s still tired from the “exhausting” day before. Instead, she’s spent her day receiving a massage, eating some chicken wings, and planning to spend quality time with friends. “I’m not going to beat myself up for it. I’m not going to talk down to myself. I’m going to eat my chicken wings, and then tomorrow I’m [back] in the gym,” she says.
“My new mantra is ‘humility does not serve me.’ Humility does not serve Black women. The world works so hard to humble us anyway."
This is the balance with which she's been approaching much of her life these days. It's why she's worried less about whether or not people see her as someone who is humble. She'd rather be respected. "I think you should be a person that's easy to work with, but in the moments where I have to ruffle feathers and make waves, I'm not shying away from that anymore. You can do it in love, you don't have to be nasty about it, but I had to finally be comfortable with the fact that setting boundaries around my life – in whatever aspect, whether that's personal or business – people are not going to like it. Some people are not going to have nice things to say about you, and you gotta be okay with it," she says.
When Amber talks about the constant humbling of Black women in Hollywood, I think of the entertainers before her who have suffered from this. The brilliant, consistent, overqualified Black women who have spoken of having to fight for opportunities and fair pay. Aretha Franklin. Viola Davis. Tracee Ellis Ross. There's a long list of stars whose success hasn't mirrored their experiences behind the scenes.
Credit: Ally Green
If Black women outside of Hollywood are struggling to decrease the pay gap, so, too, are their wealthier, more famous peers.
Riley says there’s been progress in recent years, but only in small ways and for a limited group of people. “This business is exhausting. The goalpost is constantly moving, and sometimes it’s unfair,” she says. But, I have to say it’s the love that keeps you going.”
“There’s no way you can continue to be in this business and not love it, especially being a plus-sized Black woman,” she continues. “We’re still niche. We’re still not main characters.”
"There’s no way you can continue to be in this business and not love it, especially being a plus-sized Black woman. We’re still niche. We’re still not main characters.”
Last year, Riley starred alongside Raven Goodwin in the Lifetime thriller Single Black Female (a modern, diversified take on 1992’s Single White Female). It was more than a leading role for the actress, it also served as proof that someone who looks like her can front a successful project without it hinging on her identity. It showcased that the characters she portrays don’t “have to be about being a big girl. It can just be a regular story.”
Riley sees her work in music as an extension of her efforts to push past the rigid stereotypes in entertainment. Take her appearance on The Masked Singer, for instance. Riley said she decided to perform Mayer’s “Gravity” after being told she couldn’t sing it years earlier. “I wanted to do ‘Gravity’ on Glee. [I] was told no, because that’s not a song that Mercedes would do,” she says. “That was a full circle moment for me, doing that on that show and to hear what it is they had to say.”
As Scherzinger praised the “anointed” performance, a masked Riley began to cry, her chest heaving as she stood on stage, her eyes shielded from view. “You have to understand, I have really big names – casting directors, producers, show creators – that constantly tell me ‘I’m such a big fan. Your talent is unmatched.’ Hire me, then,” she says, reflecting on the moment.
Recently, she’s been in the studio working on original music, the follow-up to her independently-released debut EP, 2020’s Riley. The sequel to songs such as the anthemic “Big Girl Energy” and the reflective ballad “A Moment” on Riley, this new project hones in on the singer’s R&B roots with sensual grooves such as the tentatively titled “All Night.” “You said I wasn’t shit, turns out that I’m the shit. Then you called me a bitch, turns out that I’m that bitch. You said no one would want me, well you should call your homies,” she sings on the tentatively titled “Lately,” a cut about reflecting on a past relationship. From the forthcoming project, xoNecole received five potential tracks. Fans likely already know the strengths and contours of Riley’s vocals, but these new songs are her strongest, most confident offerings as an artist.
“I am so much more comfortable as a writer, and I know who I am as an artist now. I’m evolving as a human being, in general, so I’m way more vulnerable in my music. I’m way more willing to talk about whatever is on my mind. I don’t stop myself from saying what it is I want to say,” she says.
Credit: Ally Green
“Every era and alliteration of Amber, the baseline is ‘Big Girl Energy.’ That’s the name of her company,” her manager Brooks says, referencing the imprint through which Riley releases her music after getting out of a label deal several years ago. “It’s just what she stands for. She’s not just talking about size, it’s in all things. Whether it’s putting your big girl pants on and having to face a boardroom full of executives or sell yourself in front of a casting agent. It’s her trying to achieve the things she wants to do in life.”
Riley says she has big dreams beyond releasing this new music, too. She’d love to star in a rom-com with Winston Duke. She hasn't starred in a biopic yet, but she’d revel in the opportunity to portray Rosetta Tharpe on screen. She’s determined that her previous setbacks won’t stop her from dreaming big.
“I think one of my superpowers is resilience because, at the end of the day, I’m going to kick, scream, cry, cuss, be mad and disappointed, but I’m going to get up and risk having to deal with it all again. It’s worth it for the happy moments,” she says.
If Riley seems more comfortable and confident professionally, it’s because of the work she’s been doing in her personal life.
She’d previously spoken to xoNecole about becoming engaged to a man she discovered in a post on the site, but she called things off last year. For Valentine’s Day, she revealed her new boyfriend publicly. “I decided to post him on Valentine’s Day, partially because I was in the dog house. I got in trouble with him,” she says, half-joking before turning serious. “The breakup was never going to stop me from finding love. Or at least trying. I don’t owe anybody a happily ever after. People break up. It happens. When it was good, it was good. When it was bad, it was terrible, hunny. I had to get the fuck up out of there. You find happiness, and you enjoy it and work through it.”
Credit: Ally Green
"I don’t owe anybody a happily ever after. People break up. It happens. When it was good, it was good. When it was bad, it was terrible, hunny. I had to get the fuck up out of there. You find happiness and you enjoy it and work through it.”
With her ex, Riley was pretty outspoken about her relationship, even appearing in content for Netflix with him. This time around is different. She’s not hiding her boyfriend of eight months, but she’s more protective of him, especially because he’s a father and isn’t interested in becoming a public figure.
She’s traveling more, too. It’s a deliberate effort on her part to enjoy her money and reject the trauma she’s developed after experiencing poverty in her childhood. “I live in constant fear of being broke. I don’t think you ever don’t remember that trauma or move past that. Now I travel and I’m like, listen, if it goes, it goes. I’m not saying [to] be reckless, but I deserve to enjoy my hard work.”
After everything she’s been through, she certainly deserves to finally let loose a bit. “I have to have a life to live,” she says. “I’ve got to have a life worth fighting for.”
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The 7 Best Tina Turner Quotes About Love, Life, And Legacy
The world has become a little less brighter following the loss of the indomitable force known as Tina Turner.
The legendary singer --who was crowned the Queen of Rock 'N' Roll after captivating many hearts for six decades with her electrifying raspy voice, explosive dance moves, empowering life story, and much more-- died on May 24 at the age of 83 after battling a long illness. Turner's passing was confirmed in a statement released by the star's publicist Bernard Doherty.
In a statement to People magazine, Doherty revealed that Turner had "died peacefully" in her home in Switzerland, which she shared with her husband, music producer Erwin Bach. Doherty also announced that a private funeral service would be held at an undisclosed date for Turner's close family and friends.
"Tina Turner, the 'Queen of Rock'n' Roll,' has died peacefully today at the age of 83 after a long illness in her home in Küsnacht near Zurich, Switzerland. With her, the world loses a music legend and a role model. There will be a private funeral ceremony attended by close friends and family. Please respect the privacy of her family at this difficult time," the statement read.
Photo by Harry Langdon/Getty Images
In addition to the public statement, Turner's passing was also confirmed on her social media accounts. Although, at the time, details surrounding Turner's cause of death were limited, it was ultimately revealed that the "River Deep Mountain High" songstress passed away from natural causes. This comes years after Turner underwent a kidney transplant, which her husband donated, and suffering from various health issues. The list included high blood pressure, stroke, and intestinal cancer.
As the news circulated online, many of Turner's close friends and fans paid homage to the icon by expressing how much she meant to them. The list included Angela Bassett --who played Turner in the 1993 film What's Love Got To Do With It-- Beyoncé, Dionne Warwick, Mariah Carey, Ciara, and longtime friend Oprah Winfrey.
In an Instagram post, Winfrey recounted how her friendship with Turner started. The 69-year-old explained that she was a massive fan of the "Proud Mary" vocalist, and upon meeting, the pair's bond would blossom into a decades-long sisterhood.
During that time, Winfrey shared that she was in awe of Turner's resilience from her past childhood traumas and being abandoned by both her parents to how she overcame her violent relationship with ex-husband Ike Turner. The former television host added that Turner's ability to preserve through life's hardships inspired an entire nation.
"I started out as a fan of Tina Turner, then a full-on groupie, following her from show to show around the country, and then, eventually, we became real friends. She is our forever goddess of rock 'n' roll who contained a magnitude of inner strength that grew throughout her life. She was a role model not only for me but for the world. She encouraged a part of me I didn't know existed," Winfrey wrote while honoring her longtime friend.
Photo by Rob Verhorst/Redferns
"Once she claimed her freedom from years of domestic abuse, her life became a clarion call for triumph. I'm grateful for her courage, for showing us what victory looks like wearing Manolo's and a leather miniskirt."
Winfrey wrapped up her words by recalling her conversation with Turner regarding death. The Oprah Winfrey Show host revealed that Turner embraced it because "she had learned how to live surrounded by her beloved husband, Erwin, and friends."
"She once shared with me that when her time came to leave this earth, she would not be afraid, but excited and curious. Because she had learned how to LIVE surrounded by her beloved husband, Erwin, and friends. I am a better woman, a better human, because her life touched mine. She was indeed simply the best," Winfrey stated.
With Turner's untimely death, the "What's Love Got To Do With It" singer leaves behind an immaculate career spanning over 60 years. Alongside her countless hit songs, Turner's past accolades consist of eight Grammy Awards, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and a Grammy Hall of Fame for three of her songs.
"The Best" songstress' other achievements included Turner earning her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, becoming a double inductee in the Rock 'N' Roll Hall of Fame once in 1991 with Ike Turner, and again in 2021 as a solo artist, etc.
Turner is survived by her husband, Erwin Bach, many friends, and fans. Turner had four sons, two of whom she adopted while married to Ike. Her biological sons, Craig and Ronnie, both sadly passed away in recent years. To date, it is unclear if Turner has mended her relationship with her two adopted sons, who belonged to her ex-husband Ike Turner.
Turner’s music has impacted many people thanks to the beautiful storytelling and powerful words. In honor of Turner's legacy, xoNecole is looking back at her most memorable quotes on life, love, aging, and beauty over the years.
Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Tina On Life
"If you are unhappy with anything…Whatever is bringing you down, get rid of it. Because you'll find that when you're free, your true creativity, your true self, comes out."
-via 1986 interview with Ebony magazine.
Tina On Love
"He [Erwin] shows me that true love doesn't require the dimming of my light so that he can shine. On the contrary, we are the light of each other's lives, and we want to shine as bright as we can, together."
via Turner's book, Happiness Becomes You: A Guide to Changing Your Life for Good.
Tina On Her Greatest Beauty Secret
"My greatest beauty secret is being happy with myself. It's a mistake to think you are what you put on yourself. I believe that a lot of how you look has to do with how you feel about yourself and your life."
-via 2016 interview with Woman & Homemagazine.
Tina Turner - What's Love Got To Do With It (Official Music Video)
Tina On Aging
"Fifty is the new 30. Seventy is the new 50. There are no rules that say you have to dress a certain way, or be a certain way. We are living in exciting times for women. Keep up with fashion, keep up with your figure and the clothes you wear. If you look good and you can still do it, then go and do it. I have never worried about age."
-via 2009 interview with the Daily Express.
Tina On Death
"Even when it's time to go and leave to another planet, I'm excited about that because I'm curious to know what it is about. Nobody can tell you because nobody has come back. I'm not excited to die, but I don't regret it when it's time for me. I've done what I came here to do. Now is [time for] pleasure. I've got great friends. I have a great man in my life now. I have a great husband, and I'm happy."
-via 2013 interview with Oprah Winfrey.
Tina On The Legacy She's Leaving Behind
"My legacy is that I stayed on course from the beginning to the end because I believed in something inside of me that told me that it can get better…So my legacy is a person that strived for wanting it better and got it."
-via 2013 Oprah interview.
Tina On How She Would Want To Be Remembered
"As the Queen of Rock 'N' Roll. As a woman who showed other women that it is OK to strive for success on their own terms."
via April 2023 interview with The Guardian.
Although xoNecole and the world are mourning the loss of the incredible Tina Turner, it is humbling to know that she accomplished so many things, personally and professionally, during her time here and continues to show why she was, in fact, "simply the best," even after death.
We will miss you, Queen. Rest in Power!
Tina Turner - The Best (Official Music Video)
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Feature image by Paul Natkin/Getty Images