The Shy Butterfly

2014-11-22 21.29.50

This was me possibly in fifth grade or middle school; the Fear Street loving, braces having me. Here, I’m happy to be taking a picture, but I’m not used to smiling. You wouldn’t know what my teeth looked like because I rarely smiled. It was a rare commodity for me. My mouth was shut tight like a hyper security center protecting something sacred. My words were private or at least they were stored and kept away from the world in my mind. Letting people know who I was was something I could not dare do. I spoke when spoken too and liked to sink into the vessels of my soul. My thoughts and my feelings were a secret I could not let just anyone see. Only those people who could deal with my silence and be willing to walk past my force field of protection could maybe get a little sense of who Tiffany was.

Today in 2018, this Tiffany still exists but far more open than once before. The castle of Tiffy is open for all (For the most part). My smile is a regular gift I provide to those around me especially those who care. My thoughts are welcome to those willing to hear them. My feelings are still a bit locked up tight, but I definitely open up the safe for those worthy of hearing them. In 2018, I have evolved far more than this Tiffy that you see above. I used to be so quiet that my voice would get scratchy when I finally did open my mouth. Now I’m a chatterbox to some friends (Well when I have some drinks to loosen up the ole vocal chamber) I love meeting new people and showing them a puzzle piece of who I am. Of course, it would take years to solve the puzzle of Tiffy, but I believe the same goes for every human.

I am more of social butterfly, but I definitely still have my introverted ways. Sometimes, I want to be alone and unbothered by the world. Friends or family call and all I want to do is delve deeper into my space of solitude. I’m out in the streets or nature and at times I just want to be alone, collect my thoughts and experience my surroundings in my own skin without the companionship of another. When I write, create, listen to music or read, my alone time is definitely of utmost importance to me. Then there are situations when I am around others that I either get awkward or I recoil in my shell; especially when I am around others who are super outgoing or extroverted. This invisible form of protection has blocked me from social encounters my whole life. I am not willing to just throw it to the side.

My wings, you will see them soaring at times. At other moments, you will see them hiding under the enclosure of a leaf. But I have definitely blossomed from the cocoon that was once my home. I am free. I am Tiffy. Take me as I am; Nothing more, nothing less. And for other social introverts out there like myself, you are awesome when you show your wings but also when you don’t.


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! 


Hiding Behind Pain: Karrueche Tran Opens Up On Own


“I knew, but I didn’t want to believe it.”- K. Tran

Raise your hand if you’ve heard or have said this before. I know I can’t see you, but I’m positive many of you reading this right now are raising your hands (Or at least raised your hand in your head). It’s a bitter truth many people deal with. They try to hide from the unmistakable, ugly reality grinning at them from ear to ear whenever someone hurts them. They try to shake it off and pretend like the chip on their shoulder didn’t just grow to enormous proportions. But by pretending what someone did to you doesn’t hurt you is only making the problem worse.

“What about you would draw a damaged man into your life?” – Iyanla Vanzant

Karrueche Tran is one clear example of a scorn woman who in the past has shook off the truth. Her back and forth relationship with Chris Brown has been in the gossip headlines and social media convos for years. After discovering through social media that her boyfriend allegedly has a nine-month year old child with another woman, Tran discussed the betrayal and her reaction to it on Iyanla Vanzant’s: Fix My Life on OWN. The highly anticipated interview showcased the famous tough love approach Vanzant took to dig into the depths of how Tran feels and how she can rise up from her pain. In some ways, I believe we all behave the way she did in healing. We tell ourselves “I’m OK” when clearly we’re not. The only way to get better is to acknowledge when you’re sick. I truly hope Tran does not go back to that sorry excuse for a man (incredibly talented artist, but still……) and that she finds positive growth from this harrowing experience.





The Last Page


2015-02-14 08.14.29-2

There’s this relationship I have. It’s more special than I ever thought it would be. It’s one of the most powerful connections I’ve had in my life. I’ve grown so much from being just a naive girl to a woman thirsty for understanding and growth. This special union has gotten me through the tough hurdles of life and even through the grim days of nothingness.

Unfortunately, this relationship is coming to an end. It’s something I cannot control. There’s nothing that can be done to stop this. But the deep journey I’ve had with my journal is over.

A great gift from an incredible woman who I interned for at SUNY Plattsburgh, this book has carried me through it all during the years. It was my literal void to express my deepest thoughts, my plans for the future, even notes from work meetings. It was the chronicle of everything Tiffany; or at least most of me. I even have blueprints of how the Heartbeat Life would be created within in its pages.

I’ve had journals before, but this one in particular is genuine proof of my growth. I’m excited to start another one, but I will always treasure this one. Goodbye to my editorial recollections of life in this book and hello to the memories of it all as well as the start of a new journal journey.

Happy Valentine’s Day by the way! Whether you’re single or in a relationship, I’ll stand by my belief that the most important relationship you can have is with yourself. Stay happy, safe and peaceful on this day. ❤


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.