No one likes a liar, but let's not pretend that it's always easy to tell the truth. Being honest is all fun and games until the time comes for you to be real with yourself and you're forced to confront all of the self-truths that you've tried so hard to avoid.
For example, you may live a lavish lifestyle today, but you can never forget the little girl that had to hustle to get there. You may be on the path to healing now, but you can never forget the breakup that almost broke you.
While you are not defined by your past, you also can't choose to ignore it, and Monica says that learning this lesson has impacted her life in a significant way. To this singer, telling the truth has been an integral part of her life when it comes to both her family and her career, but Monica says that she could only build that foundation after learning how to keep it a buck.
In fact, this truth-telling instinct was what led to the title of her first album that ultimately jumpstarted her career in the entertainment industry. In an interview with ESSENCE, the singer said:
"The [reason] they named the album 'Miss Thang' was because I would hear songs—that definitely ended up being hit records for other people—and I would say 'Nah. I wouldn't even say that. I wouldn't even do that. I don't want to sing that.' So, the running joke was 'Here comes Miss Thang. Play it for her, see if she likes it.' So, the title of the album ended up being Miss Thang. Everybody there kind of took to that."
Miss Thang turned out to be more than just an album title, it was a testament to not being herself, even when being herself made others uncomfortable.
"I look back and I'm grateful for that because I never had to pretend or be pretentious in any way. It was just me doing me and coming from where I'm from, that was important for girls like myself to see."
Monica says that even now, she carries this same spirit of keeping it 100 all the way into her adult life. Since filing from her husband of almost ten years in March, the singer says that her life has gotten a lot more complicated. Between questions from her kids about "stopping divorce" and the media in her business 24/7, Monica says that this truth-telling policy has been hard to uphold. Although initially, Monica was adamant about not filming or releasing the details of her divorce, she says that choosing transparency has helped her family heal:
"I'm not ashamed of what's happening in my life. I just think because I still have such a love and respect, even for Shannon, that there [are] certain things that are just not up for discussion. We don't have to be together to respect one another."
Honesty is easy when the truth is convenient, but the truth is most times, it's not. Monica is a reminder that there is no shame in your struggle, sis. While that doesn't mean that you should go out and spill all your tea, it may be time to steep in your own for a while. She explained that while she is selective about the information she shares with the world, she has friends like Tiny and Toya who have been through a lifetime of heartbreak and can hold her accountable for her truths:
"Those women are really my friends. We try to protect each other. Tiny and Toya have been through a lot. Those are all people that have experienced what I'm going through. So you take it one day at a time. But when it comes to what you share with the world, there just has to be limitations."
Check out Monica's full interview on the Yes, Girl! podcast here!
Featured image by @MonicaBrown.