What My World's Like

#tbt: haiti, 2012

Feb
21

we were planting trees and the folks from the town came out for a demonstration. i don’t remember looking for anything to shoot, but i saw these children hugging and it was such a beautiful moment, i had to capture it. no clue where this was…somewhere outside of anse-á-pitres, haiti.


childreninhaiti

posted a bunch more on instagram.

#notetoself: show your love.

Apr
07

don't hurt to anger, hurt, or pain. they steal your energy and keep you from love.

This is the sixth #notetoself letter, originally sent on March 13, 2012.

There is a great irony in my personality. I suppose it’s common amongst others that identify as writers, but knowing it’s not specific to me doesn’t make me any more comfortable with it than if it were only my problem.

I’m a horrible communicator.

Yup. Horrible.

However eloquently I may be able to string together written words, I’m much less gifted with the spoken word, especially when it comes to my most vulnerable relationships. Especially when I’m hurt. Especially when hurt and most other painful emotions are filtered through anger. The only thing I can communicate then is anger. The knives come out. They’re figurative, but the wounds from my words can be just as painful as a literal cut — and they can go deeper.

The result is frequent apologies. I’m sorry for days, but anything said too often begins to lose its power. The last thing you want to do is issue an impotent apology. I fear sincerity won’t be able to carry me for much longer.

(more…)

lessons from the boogie monster.

Oct
26

This past week gave me the rare opportunity to spend time with a toddler. It was a really affirmative and awakening experience. As I approach the end of my twenties, consideration to marriage and children has landed upon me quite startlingly considering the slight opposition I had to them in my early twenties. It wasn’t a staunch opposition; mostly, I just didn’t quite see either for myself. For years, I’d say that down the line, I saw myself with children, but didn’t know how they got there. Lately, that’s been all turned around. Being a great mother and wife are very important to me, despite my singleness. I see myself in an amazing partnership with lots of love for each other and for our child(ren). Being 28, this change of heart isn’t unheard of, even if it did surprise me.

Last week, my oldest friend, Alicia, was in town for a few days with her daughter, Gia, and husband, Gene. We made arrangements for me to babysit oneday so they both could get some work done. This is New York City and most of my friends are single and childless; I don’t babysit often. In fact, I can’t even remember the last time I’ve watched a toddler by myself. Still, I was actually really excited.

I awoke Wednesday morning with a mere five or six hours of sleep, but up with a sense of duty: I need to trek it to Manhattan to babysit Gia. Because of her torso wiggle dance, they call her Boogie. I call her Boogie Monster. She doesn’t get the reference, but it still makes her laugh, which makes me laugh.

After four hours of watching Boog by myself, a friend stops by to tag team the babysitting process with me not long before Alicia and Gene return. I spent 13 hours with her before going home and sleeping for 13 hours after that. The next day when I saw Alicia and Gene, I joked that Gia was a higher human being who knew how to consume human energy, while the rest of us feeble humans needed food. Really, after that night, I gained an even greater respect for my friend who works from home and has her daughter with her most of the time. Where does she get the energy? How does she have so much on her plate and make it work?

(more…)

spotlight: ambrose akinmusire

Oct
03

Ambrose Akimusire‘s Blue Note debut album, When The Heart Emerges Glistening, is a meditation. It’s pensive. It’s honest. It’s heartwrenching. It brings you into the present. It’s gorgeous. He’s a super promising young musician whose work excites me.

“Confessions to My Unborn Daughter” is my absolute favorite song right now. It makes me want to start a journal to eventually give to my (currently nonexistent) children after I use it as my own parenting guide. Listening to it may not necessarily make you feel like doing the same, but it will make you feel, if not feel good. Enjoy.

(more…)

Let’s listen to the kids

Apr
11

I originally posted this video on November 7, 2008, and was reminded of it a few days ago when the CEO of Fiat/Chrysler incorporated it into his speech at the University of Bologna.

Born and raised in Vancouver, Severn Suzuki has been working on environmental and social justice issues since kindergarten. At age 9, she and some friends started the Environmental Children’s Organization (ECO), a small group of children committed to learning and teaching other kids about environmental issues. They traveled to 1992’s UN Earth Summit, where 12 year-old Severn gave this powerful speech that deeply affected (and silenced) some of the most prominent world leaders. The speech had such an impact that she has become a frequent invitee to many UN conferences.

“Heal the Kids”

Dec
17

By Michael Jackson

heal the kids

On March 21, 2001, Michael Jackson went to Oxford University to promote the Heal the Kids initiative and introduce his Children’s Universal Bill of Rights. In light of all the healing that needs to happen in the world, I found this speech appropriate. For those in the process of planning or currently undertaking parenthood, this speech provides some great food for thought about how to interact with your children. However, as it really does take a village to raise a child, being a parent isn’t a prerequisite to understanding the importance of the ideas discussed here.

Thank you, thank you dear friends, from the bottom of my heart, for such a loving and spirited welcome, and thank you, Mr President, for your kind invitation to me which I am so honoured to accept. I also want to express a special thanks to you Shmuley, who for 11 years served as Rabbi here at Oxford. You and I have been working so hard to form Heal the Kids, as well as writing our book about childlike qualities, and in all of our efforts you have been such a supportive and loving friend. And I would also like to thank Toba Friedman, our director of operations at Heal the Kids, who is returning tonight to the alma mater where she served as a Marshall scholar, as well as Marilyn Piels, another central member of our Heal the Kids team.

I am humbled to be lecturing in a place that has previously been filled by such notable figures as Mother Theresa, Albert Einstein, Ronald Reagan, Robert Kennedy and Malcolm X. I’ve even heard that Kermit the Frog has made an appearance here, and I’ve always felt a kinship with Kermit’s message that it’s not easy being green. I’m sure he didn’t find it any easier being up here than I do!

(more…)

I’m co-hosting We Think Radio!

Mar
04

wethinkradio

Tonight is a special night for me as We Think Radio premiered at 11/10 pm EST/CST. I co-hosted with best selling author j. saKiya Sandifer.  Naturally, it was thought-provoking, engaging, and entertaining.  The purpose was simple: to spark those seeking to create a positive change in their lives.

We discussed special needs children, valid reasons for having children, the selfishness/selflessness of creativity, and justifiable “domestic violence.”

In case you missed it, hear it now:
[audio:http://www.whatmyworldslike.com/radio/episode1.mp3]