What My World's Like

the beauty of bald.

Jul
20

Approximately six years ago, I relaxed my hair for the last time. It was the day before my graduation and wearing my hair natural had been on my mind for several months, as I could no longer justify putting a dangerous chemical directly on my head to straighten my hair for aesthetic purposes while actively seeking to eat organic foods; it was a silly contradiction and I immediately understood it as such.

Almost a year later, I cut off the relaxed ends and wound up wearing a teeny weeny afro that I initially hated. Nothing was wrong with it per se, I just thought my curls would be looser, bigger, more flowing. I wanted my hair to be longer than it was. There were times I’d look in the mirror and cry: what had I done? Why did I do this? Yet, there was such a strong knowing that I was at the point of no return; my last relaxer was the last relaxer. “I’m undergoing a paradigm shift,” I’d tell myself when I needed comforting.

When you begin to wear your hair the way it grows out of your head after years of manipulating it to specifically do otherwise, you’re suddenly confronted with your ideas about beauty in general, your individual beauty, and your people’s beauty.

Many women consider it to be a quasi spiritual experience, and, honestly, that’s no exaggeration. It’s a reawakening. To yourself. To your beauty. To your ancestry. To healthy self-esteem.

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ending the war: “i love you still.”

Mar
24

Recently, I asked “do you talk about things that matter?” and today I experienced one of the most emotionally honest conversations I’ve ever had. Topics ranged from absentee fathers, sex, eating disorders, rape, molestation, relationships, education, socialization, etc. It was genuine, cathartic, comforting, inspiring and beautiful. So many times throughout the evening, I found myself smiling, feeling connected and understood as we discussed highly privatized events and feelings.

Sitting with this beautiful woman who spoke so candidly about her life, I felt inspired and reinvigorated, reminded that neither our stories nor our struggles are our own. We will all experience trials, intense pain, and loss. We will all walk with fears, insecurities, and moments of doubt. We will all struggle with some degree of feeling fragmented. These are inextricable parts of the human experience, but if you let pain harden your heart instead of soften it, you’ve missed the point.

As of two days ago, I made an important decision based upon a startling revelation. I’m ending the war with myself.

My #notetoself yesterday was:

“stop waging war with the one person who will always be there for you: yourself.
love is accepting, patient, and kind.”

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How to use your* prostitute. (*yes, you have one regardless of your sex)

Jun
01

prostitute

I’m different. I’ve always been different, always felt different, but didn’t always have peace with it. Sometimes I fought it, bumped heads with others because of it, and even embraced it. It’s a sordid past I share with it. As I matured, though, I began to appreciate the fact that I was different. I eventually found it odd that most of us spend so much of our youth trying to fit in before usually spending the rest of our lives trying to distinguish ourselves. After all, aren’t we all different?

My official occupation for the past five years should read ‘nomad’. I’ve lived in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, San Antonio, St. Louis, and even in an L.A. suburb. Right now, I’m on my way to South Korea. Each line of my resume places me in a different state and/or in a different industry so it’s quite likely that most companies seeking a long-term employee will immediately discard it upon review despite my qualifications; it doesn’t exactly scream company loyalty. Here’s the thing: I’m okay with that. Why? Because I’m different. That fact is evidenced not just by my thought process, hairstyle, interests or style of dress; my journey and choices are highly reflective of my individuality. My path hasn’t always been easy or glamorous, but it has been true to my essence as a free spirit.

Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, here’s a little something else: you’re different, too. You have dreams you haven’t followed, thoughts you haven’t shared, passions you haven’t explored. In short, you have a life you haven’t lived.

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Happiness and self-love

Feb
17

happiness

Last week, I served as a facilitator for an all-girl middle school retreat and presented a workshop on joy. It was such an awesome experience that really lightened my heart. I felt like I was doing what I was supposed to be doing.

Considering my audience, I decided to create a workshop on happiness. Middle school was one of the most hellish phases of my life, with far-reaching ramifications that extended far beyond the secondary education phase. Well, it turns out middle school just might be hellish for a lot of folks. I wanted to share some of what I’ve learned with them in hopes of it being impactful, sticking, and prevent some of the self-esteem battering so many of us experience at that age.

Middle schoolers aren’t the only ones struggling to be happy, though, so I figured I’d post something about it.

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Goodness in the blogosphere…

Jun
25