Sunday, November 30, 2014

My Thanksgiving Weekend.

Made it from Lansing to Indianapolis in 4 hours. (Ma was flying as she drove)

Shredding cheese, chopping onions, layering sweet potatoes.

Sangria. (made by my aunt)

This pup. (uncle's family dog)


My plate. (one of only two) + family gathering

More sangria. (made by my aunt's bestie)

This pup again.

Plate of leftovers + more sangria

Putting in work on one of two term papers for 8 straight hours.

More sangria.

Discussions about life with my aunt.

This pup again. 

Laughs and goodbyes.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Never too late.

"It's only too late if you make it too late. It's not too late. It's never too late." -Ma

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


Our country has failed my people again. Another one of our beautiful lives was taken and no one has to answer for it. But then again, what do you expect from a nation that refuses to even consider the notion that it belongs to the non-white-skinned people who've been making it and remaking it all along?

Times like these make me think about that scene in The Secret Life of Bees where the kindhearted sister May, overburdened with the weight of hate and disappointment and anti-black injustice in the world, just can't take it anymore. She lays herself down in a river, takes a huge rock, places it on her chest, and drowns herself.

Now of course I have no intention of killing myself over this redwhiteandblue BS, but I understand the sentiment. Just being tired of seeing the same things happen again and again, tired of life being taken and truth being buried, tired of constantly being reaffirmed that people who look like you don't matter, tired of others not getting it, tired of your country failing you and proving you right about how little it cares over and over and over.

Meanwhile so many white folks are out here like "You see? The law is the law and the law is right and a decision was made, so just move on and get over it. It's time to stop harping on the past and causing all these divisions, so we can move forward with the healing process."

SCURRRRT. Slow your roll and stop the presses.


Since when are "we" in this together? Are your people being killed off like my people are?

What could you possibly have to heal from in this situation?

You want to move forward with us while denying our grievances and our testimonies? How does that work?

And why would I want to unite or stand in solidarity with someone who consistently denies my right to grieve and be angry?

"Get over it" and "move on"? Do you have any idea how harmful it is to say things like that?

People have a right to their hurt. People have a right to their rage. What people don't have a right to is destroying human life,  something your members of the blue beast are so apt at doing, systematically and unapologetically and without reason, and not taking responsibility for it.

Get out of my face with all that "move on" BS.

Peace and Power to Mike Brown and every other person of color who has been killed or brutalized by this cruel and unjust state. May we all see justice before the day that the sun rises no more. 

The thing about being a quiet or nice person... that the few times when you do express yourself honestly or bluntly, people patronize you and discount what you're saying by calling you "sassy" or "feisty". Like Oh, this is new and irregular. What's gotten into you all of a sudden? Sometimes they even tell you you're being mean or not making sense.

Perhaps it's partly on me because there is so much of a dissonance between what I actually think of people and how I treat them. Most of the time I try my best to be nice to people, and I keep things to myself. So when I reveal what I really think about something that happens or something that somebody does, it's off-putting to people because it's unexpected and seems to come out of nowhere. And maybe, because I spend so much time thinking about it and not actually saying it, it comes out unintentionally sharp or biting. Sorry, my apologies.

But just because I'm not always popping off at the mouth doesn't mean that I'm okay with everybody and everything that goes on. I have real opinions too. And sometimes I just don't want to be bothered with people or pretenses. Am I not supposed to express how I feel like anybody else does?

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Two Degrees in Four Years?

So apparently I'll be graduating with two degrees (two  BAs) in May... :) Just found out today. I guess that's kinda cool.

Now I guess I'll go to my graduation after all. But who knows. One could always change her mind.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Sessions with Sue 25

To be honest this session was kind of boring. We talked about some pretty banal things, and the whole time I wanted to move the conversation along to something more interesting but I couldn't think of anything. I had this nagging feeling that I had something more meaningful and pressing that needed to be addressed, but I couldn't put my finger on what it was and thus couldn't express it, so I just settled for the convo that transpired. Today's sessions was one of those that I have to walk away from reminding myself that at least I have someone to talk to and I got some more practice voicing my thoughts and feelings, instead of being frustrated about how little I think was achieved. A few points:

  • Kinda weird/sad, but i almost enjoy being sick because it forces me to take it easy; the only time where I feel like I have an excuse not to do too much or push myself as hard
  • Friend who graduated a year early this May just got her first "real job" after 5 months of being (presumably) unemployed. Maybe ask her how she did it and what it's like on the other side?
  • The idea of "networking" seems disingenuous to you; don't want to be a user
    • But people feel good when you approach them as if they have knowledge or information that you want; it's actually like a compliment/gift you're giving to them; After all, people like to talk about themselves!
    • And one day you'll pay it forward when someone approaches you in the same way.

Also, next Wednesday (Nov. 26th) makes one year that I've been going to see Sue. But since I won't be meeting her again until the first week of December, before leaving tonight I gave her a "Thank You" card that I'd written. Listening to me, giving me advice, and encouraging me is her job, but I appreciate her for it nonetheless.

"I See You" - Beyond the Lights

This rounds out the group of four films that I was looking forward to this fall season. Usually I start with what I like about a film before going on to what I don't like, but this time I'm switching it up in order to better discuss how this film works. Here goes:

Seen Saturday November 15th: Beyond the Lights

London-born Noni is a superstar on a rise, with her charisma and sex appeal creating huge buzz in the States ahead of the release of her first album. After what should be one of her proudest moments, she attempts suicide because she can't take being unseen, unheard, and pretending she's someone she's not anymore. Police officer and up-and-coming politician Kaz stops her and tries to convince her that life is worth living. What follows is not only a romantic relationship between the two, but also their respective personal journeys of self-discovery.

"Open Your Heart. Find Your Voice."

What I don't like about this movie: The first half of it is incredibly dull and predictable. Noni as the superstar and damsel in distress behaves exactly as we would expect her to: spoiled, hypersexual, does as she's told and has no problem playing the game until Kaz shows up and makes her feel safe enough to reveal her depth. And Kaz as the hero and love interest behaves exactly as we would expect him to: says all the right things, has integrity but can't help falling for Noni, and always swoops in to save her. Plus, with the exception of the four main actors (Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Nate Parker, Minnie Driver, and Danny Glover), the acting is less than stellar. Machine Gun Kelly? Big Sean? I understand the need for starpower, but really? This from Gina Prince-Bythewood, the director of the masterpiece that is Love and Basketball? Seriously? I was starting to get really disappointed. But then...

What I really like about this movie: After a huge scandal erupts, Kaz whisks Noni off to Mexico, and from then on it's like you're watching a completely different film. The entire Mexico segment is exquisite. Very minimal dialogue, soft lighting, the beach, and two people expressing their love and seeking recovery and refuge in each other. More than any other part of the film, I believe Mbatha-Raw and Nate Parker really show their stuff as actors here. When Noni takes out her tracks to reveal her natural curly hair, we then see Noni Jean the person and singer/songwriter, not Noni the product. And then when she shows her hair to Kaz and he kisses her curls?! Swoon! But they can't stay in paradise for ever, and after they return to the States then you see how the arc of the story really does mirror Love and Basketball. Two people unexpectedly fall in love, form this soul-entwining bond, and have an extremely passionate relationship. But then they have to separate to figure out who they are and what they want in life, meanwhile also dealing with tensions and unresolved issues that they have with their parents. And just when it seems like what they had is over for good, they realize they can't be without each other and reunite to share in each other's most important life moments. Straight out of Love and Basketball's book, and I loved that. Bravo for #blacklove! 

Perhaps I'm giving director Prince-Bythewood too much credit, but I've been thinking that she made the first half of the film so shallow, dull, and predictable on purpose to mirror Noni's transformation. At first Noni's world is superficial, miserable, unforgiving, and forced, but then when she decides to find the good in herself and unapologetically be who she really is, then she becomes open, genuine, confident, and better able to love and express herself to others. Maybe this is a stretch, but I'd like to give Prince-Bythewood the benefit of the doubt in this aspect. Overall this is a beautifully engaging and inspiring film about dignity, integrity, the dark side of the music/entertainment industry, and the power in knowing, loving, being, and expressing yourself.

On another note, ever since Belle came out last year I'd been hearing buzz about Gugu Mbatha-Raw and was really looking forward to seeing her peformance for the first time. I was not disappointed! She's absolutely masterful as an actress and has really committed to becoming Noni. I hear she even does her own singing! She gives off some really strong vibes reminiscent of stars like Rihanna, and you can tell that she's done her research and preparation. You almost forget that she's not really a singer or musical entertainer. Speaking of research I'll also give credit to the film for trying to make its entertainment world seem as realistic as possible. The BET Awards part was filmed at the real BET awards. The festival scene at the end of the film includes footage from an actual music festival. Bravo for being thorough!

Lastly, (sorry I know this is getting long) the soundtrack is perfection! My personal favorites are "Lights and Camera" by Yuna, "Fly Before You Fall" by Cynthia Erivo, "Worthy" by Jacob Banks,  and "I Am Light" by India.Arie, which isn't officially on the soundtrack but should have been.

Would I recommend it?: Most definitely!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Oh, What Power.

I'm not nearly there yet. But even I can recognize that the folks who wrote these are really on to something.

Via PostSecret

Friday, November 14, 2014

T-Bone the Gentle Giant

This afternoon I was just passing by the kennels to see which dogs still needed to be taken out, and then I saw him, and I almost cried. He was so beautiful! This is T-Bone, aka the most perfect and handsome gentle giant.

At first glance he might seem to have a very intimidating and off-putting appearance. He's a Pit Bull/American Staffordshire Terrier mix, very stocky and muscular, with clipped ears, intense light eyes and a square blockhead with extremely defined cheek bones. But sometimes an appearance is only that! T-Bone is actually the most patient, attentive, gentle, and handsome boy! He looks you right in the eye when you talk to him, he follows your lead when walking (stops when you stop, goes when you go), he's quiet, and he loves to give kisses! T-Bone may not look it, but he is definitely a people pup.

As I was petting and rubbing him, I could feel scars (bite marks? fight marks?) on his face and arms. I was a little surprised and saddened when I discovered these, but these also made me love him more once I thought about it. To have gone through all that he went through (whatever that happened to be) and to come out of it being so sweet and loving? He's truly a perfect pup.

I've been walking and interacting with dogs at the shelter for over a year now, and T-Bone is the first dog I've ever sincerely wanted to take home with me. But alas, fostering and adopting are not yet my calling. So I'm using this time to gush about him while I can, and I hope that this perfect dog goes to his forever home with a family that deserves him soon.

If you're interested in adopting T-Bone, view his profile here and read the shelter's FB post about him.

Update (11/22)- T-Bone got adopted today! Woo-hoo! Good luck in your new home, not-so-tough guy!

Sessions with Sue 24

I had a random nightmare about my dad this week so we spent quite a bit of time during today's session talking about that, as well as revisiting the main incident that shattered my childhood and led me to be afraid of my dad in the first place. We also discussed me and my mom's personality differences and other dreams that I've been having:
  • The nightmare I had about Dad trying to kill Ma and me; woke up at 5am Thursday morning and called Ma terrified and crying; been having these dreams every now and then for the past 14 or 15 years and they always come out of the blue
  • How the court/justice system failed you and your mom when handling the divorce case
  • It's hard looking back as your adult self on how much your mom went through during that time that you hadn't even known about
  •  The logical part of your mom's brain is more developed than yours, and the emotional part of your brain is more developed than hers. She doesn't feel things as deeply as you do and is not expressive of her feelings or opinions. 
    • She has a very logical, cut-and-dry reaction to things, which can make her seem flat to you. But it's not that she's flat, that's just how she is. She's just different from you.
  • Transitional dreams (scary, monstrous, murderous dad / forgotten class / prepping for wedding / keeping people out of your house); your brain's been working really hard this year to deal with your issues of anxiety and control, and to also prepare you for what's coming ahead
  • Talking about "That Night" back in 2000; trauma; maybe look into specialized treatment (EMDR?)
  • You never really talk about your dad or about what happened with others; you keep most things about you to yourself in general
    • In the future as you're trying to form friendships/relationships and be understood or relatable to others, it might be good to bring him up not as the dark spot in your life that you're ashamed of, but just as a part of your story

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Eleven Eleven

11/11! Today's a lucky day! Here's wishing that good things happen to each and every one of you today.

At Wits' End Prayer

Lord, please let it be enough. Please let what I'm doing be enough.

Monday, November 10, 2014


Hello, hello! I have wonderful news! You are currently reading my 500th post!

I still hardly know what I'm doing and I'm still probably the only one who reads this thing regularly. But I'm having fun doing this and I've been consistent! So I'm celebrating!

All I've been doing this whole time is writing about my life and thoughts, and I'm not sure if anyone finds what I write interesting. Nonetheless, a huge hug and thank-you to every person out there who's ever given this blog a first or second glance.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Infrequent Filmgoer/Outings: Big Hero 6

I went to the movies with Ivy tonight, and seeing as how this is my first time going out and doing something fun in weeks, I've decided to merge "Outings" and "Infrequent Filmgoer" in this post. Yay for mashups!

Outings: Big Hero 6

Big Hero 6 - NCG Eastwood Cinemas (8 November)
  • Almost didn't make it, but got in our seats just before trailers started. Just in time!
  • Decent-sized crowd,  not too many kids (yay!)
  • "Feast", cute but one of Disney's less-inspired shorts if you ask me
  • Apparently Ivy is one of those people who likes to talk during movies. She'll talk to you, she'll talk to the screen, she'll talk to herself. And I quote: "I'm such a big movie talker. I always want to stay one step ahead figure out what happens next." You learn something new about your friends everyday. Was a little annoying at first but now I find it incredibly hilarious and endearing.
  • So much funny in this movie!
  • Absolutely no romantic relationships/romance tropes. Finally! Good for you Disney,  getting with the times and all.
  • Ivy: "I'm glad that I saw this in theaters. And I'm especially glad that I saw this with you, because we could freak out about Japanese things in it."
  • Ivy has huge crush on Tadashi Hamada now. Meanwhile I'm super proud of his voice actor,  Daniel Henney!
  • Selfie with Baymax!

 San Fransokyo FTW!

Based on the Marvel comic series of the same name and set in the futuristic, fictional-but-totally-wish-it-existed city of San Fransokyo, Big Hero 6 is all about 13-year-old genius Hiro Hamada. His older brother Tadashi encourages him to put his brain power to good use, creating something innovative that could change the world. Hiro starts to follow his brother's lead in attending the same university as him, but when Tadashi dies in a fire, Hiro becomes lost and despondent. Hiro relies on a huggable robotic nurse named Baymax (Tadashi's life's work) and Tadashi's five colleagues/friends to  catch the man who was responsible, and to unleash Hiro's potential both as a tech guy and a human being. 


What I really like about this movie: San Francisco + Tokyo = San Fransokyo = PERFECTION! Having been to both San Fran and a few cities in Japan, I have a fondness for both places. Not only is San Fransokyo a brilliantly clever idea, it is also perfectly executed via the animation. Such attention to detail, such a beautifully designed mixture of Japanese and American elements,  from architecture to emblems to scenery, even to language displayed on buildings and on everyday items... Just perfect. Some scenes even made me gasp. The view of the city from the top of Golden Gate Bridge? The portal sequence? Mind.blowing. Big Hero 6 is unlike any Disney or animated film I've ever seen, just based on the artistic concept and precision of the animation alone. The film also has a variety of themes: science and tech, death, mourning, ethics of robotics, intellectual property rights, revenge,  friendship, teamwork, self-sacrifice. Somehow it all fits together on screen.

What I don't like about this movie: Ivy brought this up as we watched the credits roll, and I agree with her. Other than Hiro, Tadashi, and the villain, there's hardly any character development. All we know about the other characters is their names, personalities, particular scientific interests, and how they function in relation to Hiro. That's about it; we know very little about them as people. Plus there were a couple holes and unanswered questions in the plot, but with some of that I guess you just have to suspend reality and play along. After all, this is a Disney comedy-drama about superheroes that's meant for kids, not an intense sci-fi flick. 

Would I recommend it?: Absolutely!If I weren't such a cheapskate I'd probably pay to see it again!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Sessions with Sue 23

Today we talked about what a terribly stressful and miserable semester I'm having, as well as my uncertainty in regard to the future. So basically nothing new. But we did broach the subject of time, which is a very unhealthy fixation of mine. Here are the few notes that I wrote:

  • Your obsession with timelosing it, (mis)managing it, not wasting it, never having enough of it, accomplishing as much as you should, not missing outwhere did this come from?
  •  Living a straight, strict, and narrow life to compensate for what you felt lacking and to make you feel better than others
    • Now you're sad because after all these years not only did it not get you what you wanted, but you've also stifled and pigeonholed yourself
  • Potential placement in Japan; years-long dream of moving abroad vs. facing the reality of it as it approaches; understandable apprehensions; it's going to be risky no matter where you go or how/with what job you get there
  • You're a very singularly-focused person. It's not that you can't do and accomplish multiple things at onece. But when you focus on something you feel like you have to put everything into it and can't deviate form it, thus it's hard for you to spread that energy, effort, and time over to other things that might be just as worthwhile
  • Try your best to be kind to yourself this weekend.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

First Successful Twist-Out EVER!

On Monday I did my first successful twist-out ever! I was so surprised and excited. I've done bantu knots before, and I've tried this style quite a few times, but this is the first time that it worked. The twist-out is pretty basic as far as natural hairstyles go, and perhaps I'm late in the game just now getting it after over 4 years natural. But hey! Everyone's crown is different, and better late than never. I enjoyed the process so much that I'm sharing my methods and results with you.

On Thursday night I washed and detangled my. After making a headband of one long two-strand twist I parted my hair in the middle and then parted those two halves in half, creating four sections. I then twisted each section with 3 twists in the outer ones, and 6-8 in the inner ones. In case you're curious, when I twist I take a chunk, work some Herbal Essences Naked Moisture Conditioner through it, comb through it, then twist. I seal with EcoStyler Olive Oil gel. Repeat until finished.

Once finished I loosely "pineappled" the twists into two ponytails (one for the top/center of my head and another for the center/back). Then I tied a scarf around my headband and my nape, and covered everything with my satin bonnet. This is how I secured my hair every night from Thursday to Sunday. In the mornings I would untie the scarf, take out the ponytails, shake my hair a little, and then tie my hair up again with a turban. I wore the turban every day from Friday to Monday.

Monday evening was time for the big reveal. I took off my turban and undid each twist one by one and divided the strands, with some Taliah Waajid Protective Mist Bodifer in my hands to soften as I went. And... tah-dah!

After squealing, staring in awe, playing with my hair and snapping pics for a few minutes, I pineappled all of it in six sections and used rollers to maintain some bend in the ends...  

...And when I undid everything on Tuesday morning, this is what I got! Voila! 

I loved this new look, but it felt so different to me and it got a little frizzy when I wore it out all day Tuesday. Plus when I woke up in the morning Wednesday it didn't look as good because I'd put the rollers in too tight the night before. And the ends were looking a little scraggly from the beginning because someone's in need of a trim. So Wednesday morning I put all the hair into a pony/bun and reverted to my go-to look, albeit with hair softer and smoother than usual.

   I'm definitely going to do this whole process again for next week. Before this I wore a puff that wreaked havoc on my ends, I had knots galore like never before, so I can't do that again. This twist-out thing will be a nice alternative and good practice for me, even if I only end up wearing it out for a day or two. Mission accomplished! I tried something new and it worked! 

Also, many thanks and blessings to Taliah Waajid and Herbal Essences for making these two bomb products! They smell wonderful and leave my hair feeling clean and soft. Whoever's responsible for developing these particular magic potions deserves a hug, a slice of cake, and a bonus! All of the products that I've mentioned in this post were purchased either at Meijer or a local beauty supply store, so if you want them you should have no trouble finding them.
I hope this has been as fun for you to read as it was for me to do. Happy experimenting!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Block out the World

Today I was on a bus and it was dead silent. A big ol' bus with dozens of students, and not one person talking. Everyone had their noses in their phones, many with headphones in.

Do we even realize how much time we devote to staring at screens? At screens! Staring at bright colors transmitted through illuminated glass, metal, and plastic. And plugging our ears with all manner of color-coated cushioned and hard plastic speakers. Do we even realize how we we worship these gadgets, never wanting to be bothered?

People don't talk to each other. They don't see each other. They don't hear each other. Sometimes they don't even notice that others are around. Granted you don't have to be on a bus to witness this. Just take a walk down the street and notice how people avoid or pretend not to see each other, and notice how quickly and seamlessly you slip into this mode too. And granted, technology is not solely to blame for this. But it sure hasn't helped.

Nowhere is this phenomenon more apparent to me than when I'm on buses and the like. I have a deep fondness for public transportation,  but the ride is always just a little saddening. On a big ol' bus. Sharing a ride with dozens of people. And none of these people see you or each other, much less have anything to say. I observe this and I wonder, in the supposed pursuit of improving people's lives via technology, is this what smart device makers had in mind? Are we supposed to be consumed with distractions and convenient means of escape? Are we supposed to be inanimate and mechanized just like the gadgets that seize our attention? Are we supposed to be robots? 

What if we completely forget how to talk (as in open our physical mouths and actively voice words, intentionally communicate through speaking) to each other? What if, as we block out the world, the world goes silent?

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

OddDreams: Wedding and Home Intruders

Perhaps this year just happens to be my year for weird dreams. Or maybe it's not that I'm having more odd dreams than usual, but that I'm just remembering more of them and paying more attention than I have before? Recently I watched a short film on TV called Mello's Kaleidoscope, where a woman has dreams that are so strange and vivid that she has difficulty keeping track of what's real and what's not. Her therapist tells her that these dreams are her subconscious trying to tell her something about her fearful fearful aversion toward uncertainty and her detachment from the world and people in it. Watching this film, I was very much reminded of myself.

In addition to my forgotten class dream that I was having seven months ago, there are two other dreams that I've had this year that I felt the need to write about. I don't know what they mean but I can guess why I'm having them. So here goes.

Prepping for My Wedding dream:
I've had this dream twice this semester, as far as I remember. Each time I'm surrounded by people, mostly older than me, who are either telling me what to do or advising me on how a wedding should go and things one must do to prepare. I'm nervous and slightly overwhelmed rather than excited about the wedding. I'm lost and confused, never completely sure what's going on and pretty much following along with what the people around me say. It's like the wedding is a big show or my debut to the world, a duty rife with expectations that I can't get out of. Also, no groom appears in these dreams. I don't even know who he's supposed to be.

The first time I have this dream, I'm informed that I'm expected to sing a song for my groom at the reception and the people around me are trying to decide what song I should sing. But I'm not familiar with any of their suggestions, and I try to learn a few on the spot, but nothing that we come up with works. Thus I end up with nothing to sing.

The second time, it was all about my look and the logistics of my wedding. I can't remember much about the dress part, but there is a big hullabaloo about the logistics. People were getting into pretty serious and heated quibbles about this detail, that detail. I also remember there being either a really important planning meeting or wedding rehearsal (perhaps it was both?).

Keeping People Out of My House dream:
I've had this dream multiple times throughout the year, and the basic structure is always the same. I and people I know and trust (Ma, friends, and some family members) are inside my house. There's an impending danger, so we have to make it seem like no one is home while at the same time preparing for an affront. Who's closing in on us trying to break their way in? Each time it's a different person or group of people, ranging from benign to murderous: my dad, inexplicably malevolent folks on a mission to capture and kill us for no reason, belligerent party-ers and rebel-rousers seeking a new place to wreck stuff, trick-or-treaters, people who just wants take the house from us and make it theirs. And every time, I and my crew prepare as best we can under my direction, closing blinds and covering windows, locking and barricade doors, turning off nearly all the lights, putting people on guard at different parts of the house, and trying our best to be still and quiet. But no one seems to understand the seriousness of the situation like I do, and every time someone messes it up. Someone makes too much noise, or doesn't lock or bolt something properly, or they somehow get tricked into opening the door for someone from the outside and let them in. Whichever way it happens, the plan fails and someone infiltrates the house who shouldn't, and I always wake up before doom or destruction ensues.

If anyone knows anything about how to interpret dreams, please share your knowledge! I will try to do some research of my own to figure out what some of the particular elements might mean. But I'll go ahead and make a lucky guess that what we have here is my anxiety and uncertainty about the future and my general distrust of people at work in my subconscious. 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Sessions with Sue 22

Below are the notes from last Friday's session (October 31st). We continued to discuss the funk that I've been in, in addition to touching on recent disagreements with my mom, self-forgiveness, and forgoing so-called "important" celebrations:
  • A continued dark and difficult time; thoughts that aren't helping you and are keeping you down, stuck; How do we unstick you?
  • Being disappointed and frustrated in learning more about your mom and how she thinks; recognizing that two awesome people can and will have different paths, that what works for her won't necessarily work for you
  • You have a hard time with not forgiving yourself for things not going the way you planned or wanted; for not transforming or becoming the person you hoped you'd be
  • Not wanting to walk/attend graduation; might do you well to risk disappointing your mom in making such a decision for yourself
  • Not wanting to celebrate your birthday this year, feeling old and unaccomplished. But birthdays aren't about what great things people have or haven't done. They're about celebrating you being born and the value you have by virtue of simply being on Earth.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

People Need Halloween.

Ever since I stopped participating in Halloween festivities in 5th or 6th grade (I was a pre-teen elitist who though it was juvenile and beneath me), I've thought that Halloween was pointless. That view only solidified upon observing the debauchery exhibited by my fellow students in college. Halloween. The one day of the year when you can act up, when "anything goes". Just an excuse for folks to be silly and stupid. To consume copious amounts of candy and alcohol they don't need. To do whatever they want no matter how reckless, offensive, or inconsiderate it is.

But I've been looking around me and on social media the past few days, and I've noticed something. People all around the world are happy. They're jovial and laid-back and excited. They're showing off their costumes and having fun! Our lives are structured by so many pressures and demands, and we're so stressed out. Folks need a day like this. Folks, just like kids, need a day to play.

Perhaps Halloween as holiday has lost its historical and religious significance for many people (I don't even remember what its origins are or what the meaning of it is).  And no doubt, the "anything goes" mentality has had problematic consequences. But in a theoretical sense, Halloween is also a day where people can loosen up, be a little (or a lot) creative, and share laughter and good times with others. Plus, celebrating is a fun way to revel in autumn and all its splendor, just before we enter the transition between the autumn and winter seasons.

So while I still prefer to watch what others come up with from a distance than to celebrate it myself, I get it. This whole thing is really fun to watch. For all its negative aspects perceived "pointlessness", the creative camaraderie that arises around Halloween is something special.

Wait Your Turn!

Today's lesson is: Wait your turn!

Was in the self-checkout section in Meijer ringing up my stuff and some white girl runs up on me with money and some item in her hands talking about, "Hey, if you ring this up, can I pay you for it?"....Excuse you? The heck I look like, a peasant? Do I look money-hungry because I'm black and have a turban on? I don't need your measily and impatient dollar bills, boo! Or do I just seem like a nice person who would do it for you if you asked?

Look, I get that no one likes lines and everyone has places to be, but why should you not have to wait your turn like everyone else? You're in a grocery store in the middle of a Saturday afternoon. If you don't feel like waiting, pick another day or time! Don't insult people with your money. Most importantly, learn to wait your turn!