Twist Out Blues

You what I hate these days? I hate what Trump is doing to America; I hate driving in New York City and I hate doing a twist out and my style disappearing within two days. Honestly, it takes a lot for me to dislike or have anger towards anything. I find comfort in being cool about most things. But when you put time and energy into a style and it is gone…..it becomes increasingly challenging to maintain that zen like mood.

On Sunday night, I put my hair into twists. I sat in my bed while watching the Walking Dead and preceded to do my hair. My hands worked through my hair carefully parting each strand to the best of my ability. (I actually am very bad at parting, ha ha.) My hands put some time into each piece of hair treating it delicately. When I was done, I put a hair cap over it to preserve the look. My hair was left in the twists for about two days to continue the preservation of the look I wanted. On Wednesday, I took the twists out and the style did not look too bad. It had a mixture of perfect and lopsided curls that accentuated my style. It was not perfection, but it defined my look.

For some reason this morning, it looked even better. It had definition, volume and the curls were looking great. I was so excited. I went on to take a shower like I do every day. However when I was finished, the popping volume was GONE!!!! My hair had shrunk so much. It looked like how it normally does after a few days of a twist out. This has happened before after taking a steamy shower, but I am just so sick of it. It sucks when humidity ruins your hair. Venting here is making me feel a bit better, but it truly is frustrating when the warmth that actually puts you at so much ease into your routine destroys the time and effort put into your tresses.

However, I cannot help but love the diversity my hair naturally possesses. It changes when it feels best. I can only do so much to control it. I am loving my kinks but that love turns into frustration at times. It is like loving a child; you come into your once clean kitchen and find a tornado of a mess. Your anger rises quickly, but you find a way to swallow it and handle that situation like a champ (or try to) because in your heart you know the love you have for the sometimes wild one is unconditional. My wild mane will always have my heart. I will do my best to understand it one day at a time. So for today, I will put on my armor of chill and embrace the shrunken kinks my hair decided to morph into.

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This was after a successful twist out. =)

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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Trimming the Tresses

UPDATE: When I originally wrote the following, it was back in May. I finally cut off those insipid ends. My hair now looks….alive. It is a rebirth from the conformed nature I put it through for so many years. Don’t get me wrong, permed hair is awesome; ALL hair types are incredible depending on the style of the individual. However, sometimes your hair just needs to breathe even for just a little while. I personally think I will always let my hair do it’s thing the way it was meant to. Not sure I would ever go back, but let’s see how I evolve over the next few years.

Here is the current state of my hair. I have a struggle dealing with my two type hair. One is growing quite vibrantly as it would showcase it’s tight coils like a beautiful garden of tulips. The other is trying desperately to outshine what’s naturally meant for my head so it shoots out at the front blocking my natural tresses from blossoming to truth.

There was a time when I started this journey that I couldn’t even think of cutting off my permed ends. It had become a part of me for so long that it was difficult to fully watch it go. I knew that going natural would mean eventually getting rid of my chemically straightened mane. At the start, however, I didn’t want to rush into it; taking my time was part of the process.

Now after about a year of going natural, I’m ready to cut off what was a part of who I was. In the past year, I’ve evolved so much from who I used to be. As a twenty-seven year old woman, I’m ready to shed off my old layers and become more of the woman I am meant to be; this includes cutting off my perm. Like a flower shedding off dead petals to make room for the new, I’m ready to blossom into the new me.

 

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My hair blown out and completely natural.

 

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) 

 

 

Empowerment and Grooves at Leftfield

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I’m super late with this post (One day I will be better at not procrastinating… one day). Although, the busy work life does have a lot to do with it.

On February 5, I had the pleasure to be in attendance of some truly dope performers at the Leftfield, a spot hidden in the swanky, urban ambiance that makes up the L.E.S. This chill bar/performance hub was an epicenter for the Friday night crew: youngsters ready to start the weekend RIGHT. Among the hipsters and inhabitants of the cool was a quaint little collective body of music lovers ready to be immersed with some pleasant noise. The first performer I heard for the night,  Conscious LEO, provided an incredible energy to the dwellers of Leftfield. The crowd was in full out cheers, enthusiasm and uninhibited energy during the blight of his performance. LEO served us some knowledge with his humble tribute to his home of Memphis and brought out the lion in us all with his powerful stance to the #BlackPower movement.

After Conscious Leo’s dynamic performance, I was glued to the energy of the room. My butt wasn’t going anywhere. My musical heart was overjoyed at my decision. For that night, two more artists took me on their lyrical journey where I was able to sway in elation from the sweet grooves of ISA and delve into the Chicago sound from R.O.E. (Rising Over Envy). Both performers packed a punch in how they creatively showcased their individuality. ISA’s gorgeous croons had me bouncing to the reality of having no money but also had me in the feels for that special someone from her sultry, genuine tunes. R. O.E did not fail to represent the artistry of his sound with positive messages about grinding, making it after leaving the nest, and more. All of these performers had that ‘wow’ factor which will keep myself and many others a fan for years to come.

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Conscious LEO

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ISA

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R.O.E.

 

 

 

Musical Love Match!

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Ahhhhhhh love. It’s a chased after emotion that bring out both the best and the worst in all of us. We fight, cry, scream, but also smile, laugh and take in the essence of someone who causes our hearts to beat ten times faster than normal. At times, it’s difficult to describe the wonders of what love can bring. However, there have been many different musical artists who have been able to do just that. Here on the Heartbeat Life, we have complied a short list of r&b artists who beautifully mesh together and who have made us swoon over their creative gift of capturing love into their sound.

Chris Brown and Tinashe/Sevyn Streeter: Chris Brown has had many different collabs with a variation of artists whether it be David Guetta or Tyga. However, he has also made beautiful sensual music with R&B newbies Tinashe and Sevyn Streeter that take us on a fun ride of love. In “Player,” the chemistry between Tinashe and Brown is so evident, you would fan yourself from the sizzling fire between them. But based on style, innovation and tone, Streeter and Brown also make a dynamic duo in their pop induced, rhythm and blues flavored sound.

Avant and Keke Winans: Don’t even get me started on them. Their voices together is the definition of love. Their earth shattering sound in “First Love” brings back or even creates the insistent stomach activity of butterflies fluttering around at the first signs of the most desired four letter word in the world.

Usher and Alicia Keys: Their song together will always have you thinking about your first. Cherished memories are uncovered when listening to “My Boo.” One can’t help but reach out their hand and have it drenched in the wake of warmth from that person who started it all.

Tamia and Fabulous: Though Fabulous is a rapper, this combo just gives one the feels. Every time it comes on and Tamia starts -“I think you’re truly something special. Just what my dreams are really made of. Let’s stay together you and me boy. There’s no one like you around,” it makes me want to melt into the floor from just how “fabulous” this tune truly is.

Usher and Monica – OMG!!! Do you remember that episode of “https://www.youtube.com/embed/r9WxDQSnAcU“>Sister, Sister”? Yes!!! Let’s take it back. This track “Slow Jam” is a classic which will stay imprinted in the our hearts in how much of  a sweet musical masterpiece it is.

There are many more like R.L. and Deborah Cox or Justin Timberlake and Beyonce that leave an imprint in our brains for how these artists intertwine their incredible voices to make magic. Over the last few years, the art form has made its transitions. However, we will never forget the tunes that reminded us of what love feels like.

Happy Valentine’s Day!!!  Hope you are all spending it with those you love or by spending time loving you.

 

 

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!