It was only for two years, and I jumped from family to family. It's very scary.
Life is full of trials and tribulations. It's dramatic when you don't treat people right when you're in the tribulations, but I know now how to get out of it. You have to make a decision to say 'No more', and then you know what to do when the trials happen.
I cannot save the world; that's not what I'm trying to do. I guess I'm just trying to walk the walk and be an example to those that want it. Not everybody does, but if Mary J. Blige can come out of that same hole you were in, then you can do it, too - that's my goal: to do that without saying it, but actually live it.
When you wake up and learn to love yourself and want to take care of yourself, things are harder because people don't like the idea of it. But when you get in trouble, it gives people things to talk about.
It hurts a lot when you cannot really comprehend what a person is saying in a meeting, or you don't even understand what you're reading in your contract.
I always want to be a messenger, a person that, you know, that's not afraid to pass on wisdom.
There's so many things that life is, and no matter how many breakthroughs, trials will exist and we're going to get through it. Just be strong.
When you come from so many damaged places you don't ever want to spiral back there, so you gotta continue to check yourself.
It's not just songs and glamour. It's sweat, blood, broken toes, and mistakes... It's life.
I can go out raw with nothing, and my fans would still be happy, but I feel that I owe it to them to give them almost like a Broadway musical at this point in my life. I have to give them something more, so I do have to think of different ways to do it.
I'm my worst critic, and I like the fact that I can listen to myself now and make fun of myself, listen, make changes - 'Oh, man, that's messed up. Okay, I need to work on that; I need to work on this.'
So as long as I'm a human being and I'm not perfect, I'm able to say I'm having some growing pains. Because in order to sustain where you are once you made such a breakthrough that everyone is looking at you, now everyone is like, 'Ooh, is she gonna make a mistake?' Yes, I'm going to make a mistake. Yes, I'm still gonna do things.
Everything is scary if you look at it. So you just got to live.
I've just been growing right along. It's painful, but it's a great pain, and I like suffering for great results. It's like going to the gym. It hurts really bad at first, but after a couple of months and after that diet, you're looking so hot.
I've been praying to God to show me how to forgive myself. Because... maybe... that's the thing I've been searching for.
Just don't let the hype of what people are saying and how much they love you, y'know, just take the compliment and be thankful that people are complimenting you, but don't let it consume you; don't let your circumstances around you and the way people view you make you act a certain way.
I think women should band together to get us more respect in all the businesses that we're in because, you know, if we turn 40, we're nothing and nobody. We all should band together and just say we're not gonna go down like that.
If you're here right now in your life, your journey continues and you've lived to tell the story.
You can look at my palm and see the storm coming. Read the book of my life and see I've overcome it.
I believe there should be no more drama, but it's everywhere you go. It's just about how you get out. You've gotta bob and weave because it's everywhere. How do I keep the drama low? It's about using your head.
I had to learn how to trust my gut. Trust what I know to be right... not right, but not waver on who I am. Know who I am, know what I want, and know it. Not waver on it and be secure in that. And I still struggle with it. But I really... I can't be moved. You can't move me, and that all comes with loving myself, and I'm like my best buddy.
Once you climb to another level, you have to figure out how to sustain it.
Music makes us want to live. You don't know how many times people have told me that they'd been down and depressed and just wanted to die. But then a special song caught their ear and that helped give them renewed strength. That's the power music has.
I was inspired to create 'My Life' so I could finally share a personal part of my life beyond my music.
When you hold on to anger and unforgiveness, you can't move forward.
If I'm going to be the best in what I do, I have to study what I'm doing, I have to see what I'm doing. I have to see it, I have to hear it. I'm just starting to appreciate myself - not starting, but appreciating myself in a way where I can look at myself back in a movie or listen to myself as much as I do now.
I'm striving toward this acting thing. I'm definitely gonna work hard on that, whatever comes my way, I'm gonna work hard on it.
The younger Mary J. Blige, I would call her, she was very unaware, ignorant.
Nowadays, with the state of the music business, for any artist, whether you're up-and-coming or you've been in it for awhile, you have to explore different revenues and different ways of expressing yourself.
My journey continues, because I've, you know, conquered a lot. And I know how to conquer the rest.
I don't think there's anything they can say about me that I haven't said about myself already. And I would be an absolute total liar, and my fans would not respect me, if I said that my life and my marriage are perfect. But we absolutely love each other; we have fun together - it's great.
It hurts when you have to smile and you don't want to smile, but the best thing to do is to smile.
I've done well, I've been disappointed, and I think it all goes back to you. Of course the labels are going to be the labels. It's the music business. You are a business. That's what they do. So you've got to protect yourself.
I don't have any health problems, but to keep your health improves your quality of life.
I wouldn't adopt, but what I will do is give my time and go and try to be there for people.
When I was little, like 7 to 15, there was nothing I wanted to do but go to church and go to school.
I have to have lemon and honey. I have to have apple cider vinegar, Braggs. And I have to have either Red Vines or Twizzlers. These things, you know, are the things that help my vocal performance.
No one intimidates me because I'm not trying to do what you do, because I can't do what you do. I can only do what Mary J. Blige can do, so that relaxes me right there, and it gets me out of the competition and that whole thing.
I just want fans to walk away knowing that no matter what's going on, no matter how happy you are, no matter how sad you are, we did it. We're strong in this. We've come a long way, and life is not just one thing.
There's not enough time to be disrespecting... Life is too short.
I know who I am. I am not perfect. I'm not the most beautiful woman in the world. But I'm one of them.