Showing posts from 2018


"Beauty is power; a smile is its sword." John Ray

The process of becoming "pretty" or at least "prettier" has been fascinating for me. I vividly remember how people used to look through me, as if I wasn't there, as if I was invisible, as I wasn't even worth a passing glance. Now I get stared at, people do double-takes, and I feel too seen. Couple that with the rarity of my deeply rich blackness in predominantly white spaces and its impossible for me to separate out what's the discomfort or fascination of me being black with me being aesthetically pleasing. Either way, I'm getting a lot more attention because of the way I look and I don't quite know how to deal with it. It seems like a fluke, a practical joke, or some kind of cruel prank but people are genuinely taking an interest in me. The compliments whether it be on my clothing, my smile, or my everything in general just come from every which way. I'm having difficulty accepting …


"The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them." Ernest Hemingway

There are people that love going out, and there those that absolutely hate it. I'm somewhere towards the middle of those two extremes. I have this tumultuous relationship with going out, with trusting other people, and with being able to relax enough to actually enjoy myself. I'm uptight. I like things to be planned  - complete with an itinerary. I flail against spontaneity. Maybe it's because I'm an introvert, partially controlling, or inherently wary. Maybe it's because I've never felt welcome/included in spaces where rowdy young people reveled. Maybe because my biggest worry is about getting into trouble, especially with law enforcement, and being on high alert at all times. Who knows, it's probably a mixture of all three and more. Either way, there are so many factors that derail my attempts to thrive in the vibrancy of the young adult social landscape. I…


"It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them."  Ralph Waldo Emerson

What a gift it is to love and to be loved. There's something profoundly distinct about having the love you give to others be reciprocated with the same kind of passionate fervor. It's this almost overwhelming sense of peace, mixed with joy and comfort. It's an indescribable sensation. It's like being in the comfort of your own home, but home happens where you make it. Old friends are home personified. I have come to believe that undoubtedly as I've spent time away from my people, my legion, and my comfort. Every time I separate from them it's like leaving home for an extended period of time. Then, I see them again and I'm met with the warm embrace of a place I've seemed to always lived in - a place that welcomes me with open arms, cheek squeezing hugs, and big laughs. It's a place that has long felt both surreal to the point of being …


"You don't get older, you get better" Shirley Bassey
Birthdays are these odd days that remain seared into my mind's eye representing this arbitrarily significant repeating 24 hour span of my life. I can remember almost all my birthdays and each one remains important, even when it didn't go according to plan. There is this surreal aspect to your birthday coming around. It's a demarcated day dedicated to the celebration of you. For one day the world does seem to revolve around you. People come out of the woodwork, well-wishes pour, and suddenly you're the center of attention. It's as if the regular rules of the world are suspended. I don't know, there's something exciting about it but simultaneously it seems disingenuous. I want people to care about me year round, and to be able to articulate that consistently, not just on the special occasion of the day I was born. It's wonderful, and I appreciate it but I want that same kind of energy throu…


"The greatest gift that you can give to others is the gift of unconditional love and acceptance." Brian Tracy
I believe in love. I believe love has purpose and power in all of our lives. Love is a driving force throughout the world. There is nothing more inhumane that being deprived of love. We need love to survive, and to thrive. Without love and without hope life has no purpose, no light, no peace. And yet, love has escaped me for so long. What I know is that I am surrounded by love, and what a gift it is to love and to be loved in return. I am wrapped in, adorned, drenched, and covered in love. I have others that love me, and the more I recognize it the more I am grateful for it. I, however, don't think I love enough, and love people enough. I don't demonstrate love. I don't live out my love. I don't embody love. I love, but not in it its entirety. I am still figuring out what me loving others - not just the way they love, but in my own way, means for me. I…


"One of the most beautiful qualities of true friendship is to understand and to be understood." Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Friendship in adulthood becomes more complex and somehow simultaneously more simplistic. I often find myself thinking randomly of my friends and the people I care about. Something I hear, see, taste, smell, or feel will remind of them, and suddenly it's as if they are right here with me. I am warmed by their spirit and feel their presence with me. I smile to myself and am comforted with the fond memories that they have shared with me. Friendship, like all relationships, change with proximity. Those who I am physically closer to often are the forefront of my mind, and when I drift to the thoughts who are a distance away I find myself hesitating. 

What is it about distance that makes us forget what we have already established? I worry needlessly that a text from me is a disruption to the life my friends are living without me, but my entire understanding is ro…


"Loneliness expresses the pain of being alone and solitude expresses
 the glory of being alone." Paul Tillich

Adulthood is lonely. And by lonely, I mean the mere act of being by yourself. There is a difference between loneliness and just being alone. There's inherent value assessment there. The former comes with negative implication, and the latter is nothing more than an ambiguous state of being. I think we are socially conditioned to want the company of others, to be in contact, and to communicate. I also think we rely too much on others to determine who we are instead of spending the time needed to decide for ourselves who we are, and even more so to not decide who we are in relation to others. It's only natural. We spend the majority of our lives surrounded by people whether with be family, friends, or community - then, suddenly, you're on your own. Seeing other people becomes a deliberate act instead of a mundane reality. We have to do things of our own accord…


"Every person has a different view of another person's image. That's all perception. The character of a person, the integrity, that's who you are." Steven Alford

The way we understand the world and how we situate ourselves within it is unique to our perspective. There is something both distinctly remarkable, and isolatingly unsettling about that. We are the only ones who go through what we do - in the ways that we do. Think about headaches, visibly no on else knows what when have one, but we ourselves feel an intense pain. That pain though is felt in the most literal sense by us, and us alone. There can be a sharp difference between the ways that we see ourselves and how others see us/experience us. Similarly, who we believe ourselves to be is not ho others experience us as. When asked how friends, family, or coworkers would describe us, often our answers are different than we would say about ourselves. What is the meaning of that dichotomy? If we believe we'r…


"Unworthiness is the inmost frightening thought that you do not belong, no matter how much you want to belong, that you are an outsider and will always be an outsider. It is the idea that you are flawed and cannot be fixed. It is wanting to be loved and feeling unlovable, or wanting to love and feeling that you are not capable of loving." Gary Sukav

Social media is a gift and a curse. It gives us unprecedented access to others in dynamic ways. That access though can easily become a vice. When we are inundated with idealized chronicles of the escapades of others, the impact can be overwhelming, toxic, and downright malignant. There is no way we can separate between who we are online and who we are in real life. Our online personas are in fact part of our real lives, and they are part and parcel to who we are now. I don't think we've really come to terms with the ramifications of that hybridization, or fully processed what that exactly means. The time we spend posting s…


"Things never go the way you expect them to. That's both the joy and frustration in life. I'm finding as I get older that I don't mind, though. It's the surprises that tickle me the most, the things you don't see coming." Michael Stuhlbarg

As a kid I used to spend hours entranced in a daze, dreaming of wonders, possibilities, and opportunities in my own head. I'd imagine my life working as a doctor, delivering babies, and changing lives. Other times it'd be writing books, empowering others through reading, and travelling the world spreading my stories. Soon, reality came flooding back, and things never happened the way I had imagined they would. Life was either more exciting or underwhelming, but never followed the course of the script I had drafted all along. We can plan for life, but life never goes according to plan - at least not ours. And that dissonance between our fantasies and our realities can be jarring, but in it there's ambiguity. I…