Sis’ to Sis’

I just randomly wrote a poem. He he. I think it needs more work, but I might share it some day when I feel the need to. There is something else I feel I must share. It’s just been on my mind lately. The other day, I met a woman who was sitting by the pier. She decided to talk to me and asked me why I was there. She remarked that we both had our journals out and were writing. She asked me what brought me to the pier. She said that we don’t talk to each other enough (As black women or women in general). She was a stranger in the beginning, but during our talk, she became a mentor, a teacher and a fellow sister in my journey of self-discovery.

At times, I question the decisions and the direction I have made in own life. I am happy to have my MSW and to be closer to becoming a licensed social worker. I am glad to have pursued my creative endeavors by still writing at times and starting out with making jewelry. (Which I need to post more on here) I have joy in partaking in fun filled activities either by myself or with others to make my life that much more enriching. However, there are moments when I go down that dark hallway of my mind and question the choices that I have made.

I am starting to realize that the way things are manifesting in my life is exactly what I always wanted; I must push myself more and have confidence in my decisions. I must learn not to let the naysayers, even those close to you, tear down the strength behind my choices.  God or the Universe will take care of me; always.

The higher power above will take care of you too. You will take care of you. The path and the choices that we make define our lives. We must believe in ourselves more and stop comparing or allowing the negativity of others to take us down. You know why you did what you did; don’t regret it. Even if it’s not working out in your favor yet, it will. Or it will be an important lesson for you in your journey to success if it does not work out. This is the road to who we are. The mistakes, the wrong turns or the right ones lead us to who we have always been.

In this journey that we take, it is also incredibly important to take time to self-reflect and discover who we are. There is something that I am starting to notice more, but I also see that it is quite disturbing in society. We put so much emphasis in getting these successful careers so that we can make a lot of money. The goal has always been to get a high paying job, get the house, get the car and you will be successful; you will be happy. However, I cannot help but notice some famous, rich people who appear to be quite happy in accomplishing all of this on the surface, but in truth are hiding behind their success. Big time celebrities make excessive amounts of money, travel the world and have the adoration of millions of fans, but are still unhappy. Many of them strive so much to be successful for objects but may not be successful with self. So many of them still have the same internal issues or worse than the rest of us. For some of them, it may be heightened because of all the energy they collect from users, naysayers, or any other negative forces they take in from those around.

My point is, why is it that we do not strive to know ourselves? Why is it embedded in us to sacrifice ourselves for these material things instead of saving time for ourselves as well? I mean it’s not wrong to want things and to work hard for them. But why is it OK to put in almost all your energy into gaining objects instead of gaining experiences or positivity from others? We could be uplifted from each other. We could be uplifted by our journeys in self-discovery. The concept of self-care is a huge theme in the caring profession since so much of our energy is utilized by giving to others. But the same can be done from other careers. It is so essential for us to know who we are and to take the time to do so. We tend to lose who we are and become mindless robots for the green. The biggest treasure out there is becoming who you are as a person and sharing that with others. When we empathize and work together as a society, we evolve.

Going back to the conversation with my fellow sister, she said she was relearning herself now that her children are out of the nest. She had her kids young and was rediscovering what she wanted to do with her life after having a rewarding career as a social worker. This queen was taking the time to get to know herself and through her words, she helped me. She had me realize how important it is to take the time to know who you are and to talk to one another. So much can happen with just a smile or a few words. We are so powerful in our own unique ways. We all know who we are at birth, but we must find the tools along the way back to ourselves; choice words she quoted from the outstanding soulstress Erykah Badu. Stay true to yourself and work on you, it is the most important goal you can have. Without it, nothing else matters.

Below, enjoy some sounds from the spiritual, neo-soul queen below.

The Evolution of My Kinks

I have made many changes to my hair lately. It’s weird; when I was younger, I barely did much with it. I feel like even after I started going natural is really when I started experimenting more with the kinks. My hair used to be straight, shiny and flat. Now, it has so much more volume. It has a mind of its own. Every day, it looks a little different. Sometimes it wants to recede a bit and hide from society while on other days it chooses to stretch itself more; of course, though, when I put it in certain styles it makes it easier. Finger coils, twists, braids, and bantu knots as well as just keeping it out are the various ways I choose to show it.

Trying all these styles gave me the opportunity to learn so much more about it which was one of my goals of going natural. I learned about why it becomes dry. I learned about the different types of oils and lotions I can put in it to keep it moisturized. My hair experienced brown, red and currently purple hues to add on some unique flavor. I also showed it off with mohawks, afros and tapered cuts.

At times, I have struggled with how to put my hair for interviews or for the professional environment in general. I choose not to wear braids or anything tight to protect the health of my scalp. (Though I do miss those styles so much) I often also adorn or cover my hair in African print head wraps to preserve a style or to simply hide a bad hair day. It is still a challenge understanding my hair. Every day is a new adventure in the land of my naps. Yet, I am an eager learner and I accept the opportunity for knowledge.

Anyway, I cannot believe how diverse I have become with my hair over the years; especially the past two years. However, the coils sitting on my head is a reflection of who I am becoming. As I inch closer to 30, the 20-year old Tiffy would not recognize who she’s become today. But I know she would be proud.



Evolving (Poetic Tiffy)

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Here’s a little something I dreamed up while on the train. Hope you enjoy:

It’s a feeling in my spirit.
A strong force pushing it’s way forward
Out, but not in; spreading in a flow
Ready to take over my everything

Like the metamorphosis of a butterfly,
These moldings run through me
They highlight an integral step in this journey called life

This force keeps me up at night, keeps me going, keeps me growing.
A lackadaisical Tiffy is not the Queen professed in her ever changing prophesy

For this power is allowing me to evolve, to shed off old ways,
and become the woman God has destined me to be

Tell me, are you ready to take this journey with me? For this
is only a path for growing and becoming

Say I have no need for those who stray in old skin.
This strength emboldens my spirit in keeping me shining
like I was always meant to.

The Diary of a “Young” Looking Adult

ImageAm I 16? No. But I definitely look so. The phrase, whichever way people may tweak it, can make me a bit queasy at times:

“You look so young.”

Yes! It is a compliment. However, sometimes the way people say it makes me feel either insulted or like they’re putting me down. One clear example is when I’m asked my age. Every time I’m asked, I cringe, reluctant to hear the response:

“No way.”

“You’re lying.”

“I don’t believe you.”

“You look 12.”

I know I look young. Not only does my face have a twinge bit of baby fat, but I’m also petite and have a soft voice. Looking in the mirror everyday is a daily reminder of the way I look. There are even days when I feel like I have my Gabrielle Union, Nia Long independent swag going on. I strut the streets feeling an aura of self-confidence. And then someone tears it down and tells me how adorable I look. =/.

It doesn’t help that I also work with kids. Don’t get me wrong, I love working with them. However, an adult who looks like a child may result in days of constant yelling and disrespect from her students.

I love that one day, I’m going to really relish in my family’s good genes. But now, it kind of stinks at times.

Yet, there is something I’ve learned about my youthful looks; it doesn’t stop me from actually being an adult.

I still live at home and I don’t exactly have a bunch of adult responsibilities to help grow in my gray hair prematurely. In a way, my parents still take care of me even though I make my own money and pay some bills. So as frustrated as I get, is it really so strange that some people see a child when they meet me?

The true sense of being an adult is a work in progress. This year has been a time of personal and spiritual growth for me. As I cherish my glows and work on my flaws, I’m growing more every day. With listening to others and learning from experience, the trek to adulthood is ongoing.

You may look straight into my eyes and find youth, but what’s staring back at you is maturity at work. I’m a woman coming into her own with every day that it takes. So despise the comments of my baby-like features, I am making strides for someone far beyond my looks.

For anyone else who deals with the “baby face” trauma of adulthood, I would love to hear more about it. Leave a comment down below.

The Motivation Behind Pain

My body was asking for it; the pain. The tendons in my shoulders and elsewhere have never felt so alive. It’s as if the stretches from my workout were the trigger to letting me know they exist. I could barely walk, it even hurt to sit, but the pain was there. It reminded me of something true and bold: Even through this anguish, good will come of it. With more workouts, my body will return to how it used to be in high school. (well somewhat).

The physical strife I put my body through is something similar to the mental struggles I deal with in trying to improve as a human being. In self reflection and with the helpful opinions of people I love, I know what I need to work on. But at the same time, it’s painful to look in the mirror and see the scars; the ugly parts of me that took so long to figure out. I could spend so much time telling others what they need to work on. I like to give advice and try to help them with their problems or with the problems we’re having. But I never looked at me. In this life, we never stop growing; not a day do we stop maturing. But we can only become our better selves once we take a hard look in the mirror and try to change for the better. It won’t be easy. Self-reflection can be bittersweet. I’m learning so much more about myself, however, it hurts when I’ve realized how much pain I’ve caused others due to my actions. I don’t want to lose the people I love. I also don’t want to lose out on how amazing I could potentially be one day.

God has a plan for me. I know I’m going to do something great with the life I’m given. But like all great things in life, it won’t be easy. The best is always worth fighting for. The physical pain from working out is only a reminder that the scars I see in the mirror will fade away with time and hard work.

New Year Evolution

The final hours of 2011 are ticking away. I want to hold on longer, but I can’t go into next year kicking and screaming. This year has flown by like the speed of an oncoming Japanese train. There was the good, the bad, and the ugly. It was different for everyone, but I’m sure many are ready to see what 2012 has in store for them.

Many people make New Years resolutions at the start of the year. It’s tradition to begin a new year fresh with new hopes, dreams and aspirations. People make their resolutions all filled up with pride in themselves about the new changes they’re about to enforce in their lives.

Whether it’s to eat less fast food, run more or stop smoking, people get the enthusiasm in their hearts that things are going to change. But months pass by in the year and they may get part of their tasks completed, if any. It’s so easy for them to fall victim to the comforts of their desires.

They stay the same person they were the year before. No changes made. Life moves on even if they didn’t go along with it.

New Years Resolutions can be a great way to promote change in a life. Although, procrastination is a jerk and it can take over.

I say, in the New Year, don’t beat yourself up if you don’t stick to your resolution. We all want to change and be better people. But just because it’s a new year doesn’t mean that we have to force ourselves to do things we’re just not ready for.

Whatever problem is going on in your life, do it on your own time. It’s important to evolve throughout life. But you can’t always force yourself to do it. Growth takes time. Make your New Year’s resolutions all year round. Become a better you all the time. We have many steps in life to take to truly mature into stronger individuals. Complete those steps all throughout the year, not just at the beginning.

I feel like I’ve matured and completed so much throughout this year. I’m a bit remorseful that it’s about to end, but I’m excited for a new year full of surprises, challenges, progress and the simplicity of life. 2011 will be missed from all the life lessons it has taught me and others. I’m sure all the way into March, many of us will still be writing down dates with 2011 in the year. But where ever our journey takes us next year, may it be a successful and virtuous one. Happy New Year everyone. I hope 2011 was good to you and wish you all the best in 2012.

There are many songs this year that stand out as being some of my favorites. But one song that I could never get enough of this year is “Someone Like You” by Adele. I will leave you with this amazing song as we leave this year behind and enter the new year. =)

Writing on the Brain

I’ve been having a bit of a writing trauma lately. It’s my pleasure to post about how I feel about music mostly and on some issues that pertain to many of us out there. Yet, this is something that holds a great deal of importance to me and to those of you who like to write. I just wanted to let out my thoughts today since they’ve been shoving their way out into the open for some time now.

A lot of the time, I read other people’s writing and can’t help but compare it to my own. It’s a habit that needs to stop, but I can’t help it. I’m an addict who’s addicted to putting down my writing instead of loving it and watching it grow. There’s a definite need for it to evolve and become the wonder that I know God wanted it to be. But as of now, I’m in a bit of a stump. I feel like I need a simple burst of inspiration: A captivating picture, a wonderful book, an amazing true story. Maybe I need a chorus of people to randomly come out of nowhere and sing me into editorial bliss. Because we live in the real world, I know something will come forth, slowly but surely. The love of writing will forever more stay dear to me. But as I’m letting it expand, sometimes it can be a little frustrating figuring out how  to let it grow.

I just thought, for today, I would devote my post to the one thing that keeps me involved in letting you know about my passion for music and life itself: my writing.

Because of my love for music, I will also leave a song/video from Amel Larrieux called “You Will Rise” that possesses the message of growth although not necessarily in writing.

“Waterfalls” by TLC

Challenges frequently arise in our lives shaking the normally steady ground we walk on. The unexpected surprise of our feats is something we have to decide whether we want to take it face on or walk away and let it fester. There’s always that mountain in life we want to climb to provide the feeling of gratitude and success. Yet, sometimes these mountains can be something too great for us to venture.

The classic tune “Waterfalls” by the ever-so-amazing trio TLC  speaks a powerful message of treading the peaceful waters among us. The girls have their say of troublesome stories as they quaintly sing in their free flowing gear. Tales of a mother losing her son to the vicious game of drug dealing and a man losing his life to AIDS from his sexual desires embody the integral message of what can happen by going after what you’re not accustomed to. “Don’t go chasing waterfalls. Please stick to the rivers and the lengths that you’re used to” is the chorus these ladies calmly sing to us. The easy R&B flow transcends an important word onto the masses to simply stick to the boundaries of what you’re comfortable with. Growing and learning from the challenges life gives us is inevitable as we come face to face with them. So why should we chase them?

“Didn’t Ya Know” by Erykah Badu

Life is a journey none of us can fully understand. There’s a multitude of knowledge many will try so hard to learn, but will never reach the end of their lives knowing. We can build our minds with intellect as much as we can. But one thing that we can knowingly understand is the work we put on ourselves. As the individual progresses, grows, and blossoms, the old skin of ignorance is shed away and a new beginning is formed.

Erykah Badu‘s classic “Didn’t Ya Know” emphasizes the inevitable journey of growth. Her normally raspy voice lifts into a harmonious sound angelically matching the peaceful rhythm of the song. The gentle tune floats like a serene stream providing an eloquent sense of movement and calm. Badu digresses her angst in understanding where to go from here in love and in life . The video creates a visual masterpiece of an arduous path with her billowing garments of travel as she trudges through the desert. After days and nights of endless walking, she encounters her new from as her old skin is shed giving light to her natural form. The task of encountering mistakes and the unknown will always be a feat we all must face. Yet in the end, the best of our potential is a fought for gift we can accomplish through new understanding from old ways.