Gliding into 2017

Today, I am choosing to write a sort of reflective piece about the past year. I seriously do not want to write some cliché new year, new me garbage. Heck, it is cliché to even crap on people who do that. However, there is an innate desire for people to want to reflect on the ups and downs of the past year. We cannot help it as human beings as we fumble through this mess called life. Yes, I do it too. I wonder who will I be next year, how will I evolve or how will I stay the same. I personally feel in every second that we are breathing that distorted oxygen in and out of our lungs we are changing. You are never the same person the following day. But at the same time, you are not going to be completely transformed. It is more of a glide than a race to who you will become. 

This year has been an incredible year of growth, change and struggle for me. I got accepted into Hunter Silberman School of Social Work. In this grad school experience, I am learning so much about self-awareness, the social injustices that plague our society and about interventions on how we can assist those suffering from the many demons that haunt them. That whole experience deserves a level of it’s own and that is not the only level of growth I have experienced this year. I also had to fully embrace my natural hair. I learned and am still learning about what makes my kinky coils, how to take care of it and most importantly how to love it. Becoming natural was not easy, but I am thankful for every moment that I am experiencing this hair change. It was not just a change in hair texture; I feel like I am owning who I am and who I was always meant to be. As my hair transitioned, I transformed. I am finding myself becoming more health conscious. I am more invested in the world around me and want to do more in understanding the real truth about it. I no longer just accept what I hear and try to challenge what I hear on a regular basis. I smile but shake my inner fist at the world for not doing better. Ha, of course this is also school’s doing to opening up my mind to how everything works. I also find my style changing but at the same time it represents who I have always been. My growth is a representation of what I was always meant to become.

However, I am still trying to figure out who I am and what is it that I really want out of life. I know I do not want much but I do have the simple goal of being happy. In a way, I feel I have already accomplished my goal. There were some moments in 2016 that made it difficult for me to work my facial muscles into a smile even if frowning is more difficult. Trump winning was the biggest shock to many people this year. Even Trump seemed to be shocked. How could such a misogynist, racist bigot be our president? Especially against someone who was clearly more qualified. As I slowly understand a bit more about how the world works, I wonder if there is some outside force secretly laughing at the way the gears of society is turning. Of course, they must be pressing some buttons to cause those gears to turn. The continued rise in police brutality and injustices against my people only seem to grow while this man is getting closer to accepting his place at the white house. (If he ever leaves Trump tower of course). Many questions plague our minds as the shock settles into acknowledgment of a new era that our hearts truly cannot accept. However, there have been bands of unity across the country that is working against the hateful attacks that attempt to break us down. In these dark times, one thing I know for sure is that we will not be brought down. As a nation overflowing with so much beautiful diversity, we have come so far. Even as the laws may change, we have to start paying attention to the surprises to our liberties and fight it. We must continue to stay strong as a united front against these systems that work to destroy us. After all even with the negative back story to how this country was founded, it is still our home; let’s make it our home.

Twenty sixteen was also an end to some relationships I thought would never end. I do not want to waste too much time writing about this, but it was something I definitely was surprised had terminated. I did fight very hard to make it work. I learned so much about myself in what I did wrong and how I could work to do better in the future. I thought about ways that I could have rectified the situation. I constantly berated myself for the stupid mistakes that I made that could have made it work. However, through time I learned that in all my effort, both of our effort, it was not meant to last. The pains we carry with us our embedded in our spirits as a push, a lesson, a means of strength into conquering tomorrow. I would not be the person that I am today if I was still in that place struggling to make it with that person. My growth happened because of the pains I endured while in that space. The age old saying that everything happens for a reason is always on constant repeat in my mind. But it is there as a reminder that all of the crappy, uncomfortable, pains to my spirit are there to build me up into the phenomenal human being that I am becoming. It is obviously working because I am usually way more humble. Believe me, I love being modest. There is still so much more work to my character that will come to place as I get older. But I think it is OK for everyone to sometimes acknowledge how fantastic they are. As long as you are also aware that you are never done becoming awesome.

Anyway, I am mostly content with the way 2016 played out. I have accomplished so much, grown in ways that I did not expect and now I am excited to see where my growth will take me in 2017. For those of you reading this, I know you are some pretty incredible specimens on this Earth. Please remember to honor your growth however big or small they may be; each moment is responsible for making you into who you are destined to be. Every morsel of pleasure, pain and comfort are the necessary ingredients to being. Laugh, smile, cry, scream; do whatever feels comfortable to you in your moment. Let us go into 2017 like stars and keep on shining. Have a wonderful New Year! 

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Hello All!

This post is literally here to explain my absence.  My writing has been indulged in a more academic platform as I have started Grad school this Fall at Hunter. So my words have been plastered on Blackboard posts, journals, mini papers and regular sized papers. But my creative side has been pinching my insides for weeks. I will try my best to let my creative energy out on here. But yea, this is just a little update to my whereabouts. I did get some writing done in my personal journal, but it would be awesome to let you guys in on my thoughts as well. I also keep coming up with ideas for blog posts, so hopefully they will come to life. (They must!!!)  It would make my little heart pump so much faster. =). I hope all is well with everyone. I am excited to continue my writing journey here with you guys.

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Random photo from my Cali ventures. =). (My travel tales was strictly left for my journal) 

 

 

A Little Peace of Rain

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The moment came to me again. This time in an unexpected way and time. The 103 bus was taking too long to come so I decided to walk in the continuous rain. The wind was howling and the rain drops would not let up even for a little bit. Moisture started to fill up a bit in my light brown leather boots. My leggings even started to resemble saran warm as they began to cling more to my bottom half. The water in the air would sprinkle my face every so often. The atmosphere for once smelled crisp and clean due to what was falling around me. Amerie‘s “All I Have” gently vibrated in my ears like a quiet stream. The song alone brought back times of innocence when I was incredibly inexperienced of the trials, triumphs and the roller coaster ride of life. My legs carried me to my destination in the seemingly gloomy weather. Though many moments in the rain usually force me to bring out my umbrella and speed walk home, this day felt different. My pace could not help but slow down as I was able to unearth bliss. So much joy was felt in the walk that I had to give praise and thanks to God even in the misery of my surroundings. I gave thanks for air being able to fill my lungs, the people in my life, the lessons I have learned and for the moment I was having. Yet again, I was able to find bliss.

Even when your world is shrouded in the doom of a storm, there is always something to be thankful for. Be glad you have food on your table, clothes on your back and a roof over your head. You don’t have the job you want? Go out there and find a way to get it. As long as it’s in your spirit, the thing you desire will come to you. Or God will show you what it is you needed all along. Even in the cool of the rain, peace came my way. For all of you out there if you let it, peace will come to you too. Hope you are having a wonderful day!

 

What Makes You A Writer?

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My life right here

This question has been throbbing in my mind for weeks. In this journey of writing, it all started in elementary school for me. I used to have these journals in which I would write in everyday. Scrawny etches of chicken scratch penmanship would litter a composition notebook on various days on anything from what nine-year-old Tiffany learned in school that day to the interactions she had with other kids. Little Tiffy was definitely a shy one. It did not change that much in high school. But during those teen years, writing was so exciting for me. Every time the teacher would give me an essay assignment, I would look at it as an exhilarating new challenge to immerse myself in. It was such a thrill and joy to be able to write. At the time, I never realized how much I liked to write until a friend and my tenth grade English teacher made me see my potential.

Today, a magazine journalism degree and a few editorial internships and “jobs” later, I question whether I am still defined as a “writer.” Other than the fact that my grammar, style and prose is probably not as up to par as it once was, I don’t write as much as you would think. One thing I have come to accept, I am a procrastinator even when it comes to the things that I love. Routine and deadlines keeps this somewhat free spirited mind on schedule. If it’s not on a to-do list or there is no deadline, it will not get done. The daily grind of work and other responsibilities constantly pushes this passion to the side for me. So even though I write when I can, I still ask myself this question.

In today’s world that’s only getting smaller and smaller, writers or so called “writers” pop up all over the web. Some people just wake up randomly one day and decide that they are going to be a writer. There are oodles of published content from people who could not write if their life depended on it to distinguished literary geniuses. There are all types of writers: bloggers, journalists, poets, content curators, editors, novelists, authors, song writers and more. Some people can write twenty or more pieces of content a day while others write a little something every week. At the end of the day, they all do define themselves as a writer.

Through all this mental pondering, at least for now I think I can answer my question. I am a writer because of one simple reason: it brings me joy. You would not even know how happy I am just writing this particular post. All the posts, articles, rewrites, blog entries, essays and journal entries I have written in my life has always provided me with true happiness. The ability to pour out our thoughts and give it life is a true gift that all of us human beings have. So whether you write to give your business more traffic or because you report for a blog or news organization, find the joy in what you do because that my friend is what makes you a writer.

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Moment of Bliss

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A picture I took during traffic as I was going home on the Hutchinson River parkway

This music has me caught up as I’m doing paperwork. It is mentally pulling me away from reality and transporting me back to a moment. When driving down the Hutchinson River Parkway this past fall, there was this arrangement of beauty colorfully surrounding me. It was a magical sight in how each leaf was layered on the trees stretching out into the open abyss.  The variation of orange, yellow and red hues made you want to become a part of it. While driving, there was also usually many cars on the road. However there are moments on the Hutch where everything sort of becomes surreal. Serenity envelops as more and more cars disappeared and all that matters is you, your ride, your music and the smooth curves of the road.

This moment of bliss was brought to me by Chris Brown’s “Autumn Leaves.” The epic tranquility of the tune is laced in light, slow instrumentals and the feathery pitch of his vocals take me back to the peace of driving on the Hutch.

For anyone reading, what moment, activities or events have given you or give you a moment of bliss? Please feel free to share below.

 

 

Salon a Changing

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Hair done. No perm.

For years, I’ve embraced the routine that is going to the Dominican Salon.

Step 1: Show up

Step 2: Tell the stylist what you want (usually a perm or wash and set)

Step 3: Wait for them to call you to wash your hair.

Step 4: Get your hair done which includes *drum roll please* washing your hair, getting it conditioned (if they ask), hair dryer for 15 minutes, washing out the conditioner, roller set, sitting under the dryer for 45 mins and then finally the style or wrap.

This is a process I have been doing more or less every two weeks for years. It’s part of the ritual for looking fly. Having a fierce bob to rock is heaven for me. All of you women can relate (or maybe even some men can too) on receiving a nice glow once you get your hair done. Everything and everyone is just wonderful once your locks are looking tight. Sometimes, my style changes a bit but this process has never really changed.

However, since I decided to go natural things are a bit different. Of course, I’m abstaining to putting the relaxer in my hair. So this process, as I learned the other day, will be a bit different. The hair magicians who do my hair for the most part are pretty awesome. But I feel like every time I make a trip to the salon lately, they react to my locks as if my growing truth is an insult to their optics.

Stylist:  Since your hair is not permed, what am I supposed to do?

Me: I don’t know. You can blow it out.

Stylist 2: That’s what I said.

The attitude and shade is enough to keep me away. My hair is different now and I know it’s something they’re not all too used to. But it’s hair. Please just take care of it the best way you know how. It’s difficult enough going through this journey when discovering the “terror spot,” the breakage and the fact that the oh-so-wonderful cream I’ve been using is oh-so-deadly in damaging my scalp. The least I could get is some positive vibes and work ethic. As I go along this journey, I hope to find more people who could bring great energy to me. The shade and attitude package can stay outside. In all, let the new year be more filled with uplifting hair experiences (possibly at natural hair friendly salons?)

Happy New Year! =) =) =)