You’re Gifted Even During Times of Uncertainty

Sometimes I feel behind. I recently scored a new job, (thank you Jesus), but it was a lateral move as opposed to a promotional role, meaning I would remain the same title as opposed to a higher one. I felt insecure about it. While the opportunity is amazing, I feel like I am operating on a higher level than what my title reflects and should be validated as such. Also, some of my peers have advanced in a meteoric way and I don’t feel the same. At work I have a healthy culture, my mental health and well-being are prioritized and I love what I do but I don’t have the title. I confided in my best friend Myleka about it and she snapped me back into reality reminding me:

  1. I am anointed, which means I can’t operate how others do because I am here on assignment. I have a purpose in this work and while sometimes I don’t know what that is, I know that God wants to use me to build his kingdom, be a light in dark spaces, and help others.
  2. God’s timing is perfect, yes I may often feel like a late bloomer, but God uses those who people underestimate; so while I may still be at the same level for the past three years, there is something brewing and within his perfect time, it will be revealed.
  3. Look up, it seems that I’ve been looking to the left and right of me but not above. Seek God first and everything will fall into place.

Check out this recent sermon from T.D. Jakes entitled “The Bumpy Road to Better.” What resonated with me was that we all have gifts and should use them, even during times of famine, hard times, and uncertainty like Joseph did in the bible.

I Miss Blogging : 2021 Life Update

I miss blogging. I miss writing. So I am going to start again. I haven’t written a blog since last March 2021. The death of my dad took a huge toll on me. I wore a cloud of grief over my head until Feb. 3rd, 2022. That was the one-year anniversary of the passing of my dad and also the time I declared, no more sadness. I wanted to get back to me and mean it. 

Last year was like a twilight zone. Most days I felt disconnected from myself like I was in a warped reality. I pushed myself to start a new life without my dad but it never felt authentic. Yes, I was traveling, buying new designer bags, adjusting to my new neighborhood, but it all just felt blah. No true substance. The reality is material things cannot fill the huge void of losing a loved one who is significant to you. 

Things began to shift in July 2021. I was miserable at work and needed to quit my job. I worked in a culture that was toxic. Gaslighting was on a high and I wanted out. I was also being told I wasn’t ready for more. The reality was, I was more than ready and I was more than good enough. I was disappointed in “my bosses.” They would never be capable of managing and grooming me no matter how hard I worked and my desire to quit was more of a reflection of their leadership.

I had a friend and colleague who saw my potential and leveraged her own pivot into a new company. She pretty much took me along with her. It was divine. I got a great salary, good benefits, and more. It took some time to realize the offer I was getting because everything last year was so weird, but once I did, I danced like no tomorrow. The only problem left for me to handle was getting up the courage to put in my two weeks notice. Who knew that was so hard. I had to use a script and write mantras with lipstick on my mirror because I knew my team wouldn’t take it well and I wanted to be prepared for this awkward conversation. Won’t go into the particulars but my exit experience was distasteful. While I was hurt, I was finally free!

I had a month off to reflect and heal but to be honest I don’t think I healed much during that time. There was too much to process. Yet, it was nice to be like Tommy, with no job. I cooked, cleaned, got everything I was procrastinating to get done, done; I went to Fort Greene Park to read, sold clothes on Poshmark, and just lived a carefree life for a month. I ended the time with a trip to Turks and Caicos with my mom and cousins. Turks and Caicos is one of the most beautiful islands in the world. The water is so serene and clear. I literally stayed in the water for 12 hours one day and when I finally got on the shore it felt like I was still in waves, borderline seasick on land. I needed that time with my mom. We released a lot of pain in the water and had a good time. 

When I returned back to the States, I had a non-covid cough that would stay with me until October, (it was horrible) but most importantly, I had a new job awaiting. I really love my new team and I am so happy I took that leap of faith and made the pivot. 

Other highlights from 2021 included getting Ginger and my mom got her brother Blaze. In April 2021, we took a road trip to Pennsylvania for our beautiful mini poodles. They were so cute and continue to be both a blessing and a distraction from our grief because of how mischievous they are. Who knew puppies were so much work? I also hosted Christmas in my apartment for the first time which was so fun. We had cool drinks with LED lights, cheeseburger sliders, games, and catered food from “The Door” a Jamaican restaurant in Queens. 

My skin journey went downhill last year. I started using Rihanna’s Fenty Skin and I have never seen my skin in such a bad shape. Burning sensations, red face, cystic pimples, acne, it was horrifying. I will never use that product again; it does not work for me. 

My hair journey was okay, I am just continuing to grow my hair after I shaved it in 2020.

My book journey also went downhill. I didn’t finish more than 5 books last year. Who has time to read when you’re grieving? 

I am sure I am forgetting a ton, but that was my year in a nutshell. There were some lows and some highs, but hey, it’s all a part of life right?

A Woman’s Worth

My friend Shakema K, called me last week and asked me to be on her talk show Spread Love The Christian Way in which the conversation would address a Woman’s Worth. To be honest, I was shook and while inside of me wanted to say I may not be the best person to talk about worth as I am in an extremely weird space and not feeling very worthy in this season, another part of me was saying, you have to do this! Boy am I glad that I moved forward with this opportunity. Not only was I reminded of my own journey of discovering my worth (and was able to share stories that I somewhat buried), but I received so many gems during this conversation to motivate and remind me that my worth doesn’t lie in how humans view me, it aligns with how God views me. I needed that reminder to keep me going. It’s a special thing to watch women talk about worth. I hope this is an encouragement to you. SUPPORT Shakema’s talk show by subscribing to be in the know for future episodes. Also shout out to my co-panelist Jewel Gibson whose story is beyond powerful.

Time to Heal, Time to Bloom

Today I cried in my dad’s suit because it smelled like him. I embraced it and felt the embrace back. After weeks of trying to get back to being fine, it felt good just to feel in that moment. 

March should be my favorite month of the year. It’s my birthday month. It’s the first day of spring and new beginnings. It’s Women’s History Month. But I am filled with ambivalence. I am learning that there’s a time to heal and a time to bloom.

This month marks one whole year of being in quarantine due to COVID-19. While quarantine initially started out as a mental health savior, I never thought I would’ve lost a dog and a parent during this time. 

This month also brought to the forefront the Anti-Asian violence that’s going on in this country. I checked in on my Asian friends but sometimes I don’t feel like that’s enough. Work is back in full swing. The great thing about it is that they are taking their time with me as I transition back into my role following my month long bereavement leave. 

On a positive note, I celebrated another birthday. My friend Shadesha took me to dinner at Kokomo. It was the first time I’ve been out on the town in a very long time. For my actual birthday, I had a few friends over. We drank Moscato and Henny, my friend Nkese also bought me henny cupcakes, and we played Culture Tags. All-in-all, it was a really good night. The next day my friend Kadia spent the day with me and we watched the Crown on Netflix, now I am hooked. The following day (my birthday was on a Friday), my boyfriend and I had a date day in Jersey City. He tried to take me to a nice restaurant, but I’m basic, Red Lobster please! My friend Jordan, donated to JASA for my birthday, which is an organization that supports senior citizens, yall know I love the elderly. That was such a thoughtful gift. My other friends came together to buy me a portrait of my dad and Charlie. It was so sweet. 

Other wins this month, I had a major breakthrough in therapy. Everyone should have a therapist! I am helping my mom remodel my brother’s room, he doesn’t read this blog and he has no idea, he’s currently on vacation but when he gets home, I hope he loves it. I am getting a dog, yes a cute little mini poodle to help me deal. I don’t want Charlie, my first baby to feel some kind of way, but I am ready for a puppy to love. I am so excited. My bookstagram is almost at 1,000 followers, Follow @booksbyky on Instagram and support your girl. This month I went to different murals and took some photos of my books, they came out cute. 

My hair journey is weird. After cutting my hair off, I don’t regret it but I don’t like it. My skin journey is going well. It’s clearing up some. 

All-in-All I am looking forward to what’s ahead. Until next month!

The End of an Era

My life as I know it will never be the same. Back in April 2020, I decided I would write about my quarantine experience every month. However, I haven’t written since November because life…The last three months of my life have changed me. Here’s how: 

November 2020

I moved out on my own. I watched an ungodly amount of HGTV and spent hours upon hours on the websites of Amazon, Ikea, Wayfair, Ashley Furniture, and more, searching for decor inspiration. I also consumed The Home Edit on Netflix for organizational ideas. My dad was a huge cheerleader in me leaving the nest. He took me furniture shopping and is the reason I have the blue couch in my living room. It was an adjustment. Living alone is lonely, there’s a lot of quiet time, but it’s also liberating. I can light candles, without someone telling me to be careful; I can delay washing dishes, without someone insisting that I should;  I can even dance like no-one is watching, because no one is watching; I am alone. It’s lonely. I sometimes miss my family but  It is such a powerful thing to live solo and I urge people to do so at least once in their life. While I do get scared (I am the ultimate scaredy cat), I enjoy it and I am emboldened by this independence. I can check moving out off my goals list. 

November 2020-February 2021

Cancer is a horrific disease. I’ve heard my mom use the word demonic when describing it, and yet, my dad and another close family member who does not want to be disclosed, suffers/suffered from it. From November to January, my dad was in and out of Mount Sinai Hospital. My mom was the primary caregiver. She was by his side every single day. I saw the brokenness in her face. The tiredness. The faith. In my dad, I saw the pain. The suffering. The faith. I come from a family of faith. We believe in Jesus Christ the healer, the provider, and the savior. Not once did the faith of my family ever waiver. 

I struggled. I struggled with ambivalence. With fear. With anxiety. I didn’t want to see how bad it was really getting. How skinny he was getting. His mind going. His pain intensifying. Yet and still, I had faith. I truly believed God would bring him through. Maybe I used my faith as a distractor or a coping mechanism, but I needed to believe he would make it. Maybe that’s why I was able to compartmentalize. 

The beeping of the hospital reign loud in my head. Sometimes I miss it because it represents him still being there, still fighting. I can lay on his stomach and hear it go up and down and know he’s still on this earth. I can hold his hands and feel the warmth of it’s embrace around my own. I remember, on MLK day, I fell down the train station stairs on the way to the hospital and as I was telling the nurse, my dad awoke from his nap and said “My daughter is so clumsy.” He laughed and it felt good to know that he understood me even in such a vulnerable moment. The following weekend, my dad as I knew him would never be the same. While in the ICU, I remember looking up at the board that showcases the age and condition for everyone in the unit; ages ranging from 44-99. I remember thinking to myself, he’s the second youngest here and you’re going to take him God? He’s only 57. But life is so randomized. There are people who live to 109 and people who live for 9-hours. You just never know. The term life is short hits different now.

On February 3rd at 11:17 PM, my dad passed away with a smile on his face. He was surrounded by love – we were with him until the very end. We let him listen to his favorite songs, both oldies and gospel. One of my best friends stayed on the phone with me throughout. I consider the smile he left us as a gift. While I am sure he saw his loved ones on the other side including his mother, sister, and our dog Charlie, I feel blessed to know that he was happy. His smile was bright. His teeth were showing. I immediately had peace. We all did. 

My dad was a creative. He was the first insight I had into an entrepreneur. He lived and breathed media and production. He was a content creator. He walked around with a camera bag when he had to do shoots. He was self-taught. He was the king of corny dad jokes. He loved when people made assumptions about him so he could prove them wrong. Most times he did. Sometimes he didn’t. He was the Tenant Association President for my former apartment building. During the pandemic he did so many amazing things for the community including free groceries for seniors. He was kind. He was a mentor. Many people considered him a father figure. He was multifaceted. He was complex. That’s what made him so unique. 

In the last three months I moved out, lost my dad to Stage 4 Cancer, helped plan a funeral for the first time, and took almost a month off from a very high pressure job to process it all. But I now know that on the other side of all of this pain, grief, and loss is a breakthrough. God has given my family supernatural strength to handle this situation and I plan to heal and come out on the other side better than ever before because my dad would not have it any other way. 

History Making Election

Getty Images

In 2016, I still remember the feeling of trauma, disappointment, and fear that I felt when Trump was declared President of the United States. A man accused of racism, sexism, sexual assault, mocking disabled people, stereotyping Mexicans as rapists and so much more, was now the president. Would we survive? What would become of us as a nation? My heart couldn’t take it and I decided to just ignore the news, ignore the fact he was President and proceed with my life, business as usual. I am going to talk further about the irony of business as usual, but I want to highlight that I blamed myself for Trump’s win. I didn’t do anything to help Hilary’s campaign, I assumed that following the Obama years, we were progressive enough as a country not to even consider President Trump. Granted, people did not like Hillary Clinton, but I honestly thought that because Trump proved how unfit and un-American he was during his campaign, people would see that too. So I counted on my vote counting; assumed that everyone else voted for Hillary too, walked away from that voting booth with confidence that we were going to have our first woman president. However, I was left with pie on my face later that night when the results said otherwise. It was devastating to me as a black woman because I felt neglected by this country. I didn’t feel seen. I felt like America was choosing to uphold the system of white supremacy and racism over me and others that looked like me. My spirit was broken. Business as usual was my only means of coping. I can count on one hand how many times I watched the news while Trump was in office, I even remember one time a few years into his administration hearing a news reporter say President Donald Trump, and I had a weird moment where I had to remind myself oh yeah, he’s president…but why?

While I tried to live in a bubble of not acknowledging Trump as my president, or as I mentioned earlier business as usual, it was impossible. I couldn’t shake hearing what was going on in the world during his administration. Immigrants desperately afraid of ICE who would deport them; Children in cages, separated from their parents some getting sexually abused, which is absolutely deplorable; Dream Act, which grants residency and the right to work to immigrants who entered the country as minors at the risk of being revoked. Certain countries in the Middle East and Africa such as Iran and Somalia were a part of Trump’s Travel Ban, denied access into the United States, possibly because of their Muslim affiliation; Executive orders which revoked many rights that the Obama administration put forth including climate reform; His silence when it came to social justice issues such as the murder of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and others who passed away during his presidency spoke volumes to where he stood on these issues and how much he cared about blacks and their struggles, but worst of all, his support of white supremacists, right-wing groups.

His whole presidency was filled with lies, misinformation, fake news, bullying and scandal. But people didn’t seem to be phased by it until COVID-19. After looking at how close the race was, I now see that he could’ve been our next President. However, his recklessness during the pandemic where over 200,000 Americans were killed was probably the final straw for undecided voters. I think democrats were over him from the beginning but those who were undecided probably were impacted by how insensitive and reckless he was being during this crisis. He didn’t care that we were in a pandemic, he still held rallies and turned a blind eye to his base not wearing masks and social distancing, he also rarely wore masks until he became a victim of COVID-19 and even then, he pulled a stunt possibly endangering the secret service when he went on a joy ride to wave hello to his fans outside of his hospital. The Trump’s years is absolutely insane when you really think about it.

But as the age old saying goes, if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all. So I will acknowledge the good things that came out of a Trump presidency:

#MeTooMovement: Grab them by the P***y, Trump once said and it opened up the flood gates to an insidious issue of sexual harassment and sexual assault that has been going on behind closed doors in Hollywood, record labels, at major fortune 500 companies, and media networks around the nation. Men (and some women) were exposed for being sexual harassers to women (and men) in the workplace. Prominent men around the nation was fired from their jobs and some received jail time for their heinous actions. It almost felt like a witch hunt but it made me proud. As someone who experienced sexual harassment in the workplace, I understand how uncomfortable and powerless it feels to endure that kind of trauma and I always wondered why it was such a silenced issue. How I coped was I wrote a script about it. I never produced it but writing has always been my refuge. I did feel somewhat redeemed watching justice being served to those individuals who abused their power and influence.

Black Lives Matter Movement: When we went into quarantine I remember having a thought in the back of my head, but I shook it out because it was dark…nightmarish even. Literally, the next day on March 13th, Breonna Taylor was senselessly killed by police officers. Also Ahmaud Arbery, was killed for jogging in his Georgia neighborhood, and then George Floyd, with a knee in his neck, screaming to live, telling officers he could not breathe, was murdered by police officers; it was one of the most dehumanizing deaths I’ve ever seen. My nightmarish thought had become a reality. Even during a pandemic, black lives were killed senselessly; we were not even protected sheltering in place. How is that possible? Surprisingly, people took notice. Businesses took notice. Finally, America seemed to be outraged. Finally, people realized systemic racism was an issue and something had to be done. Finally, Finally, Finally. While Trump didn’t actually denounce those deaths, Americans realized he was a part of the problem. Racism is pervasive and has to be uprooted. We can no longer turn a blind eye to it. We have to acknowledge it and having a racist president in office only heightened it. We can’t get comfortable.

Fortunately, for us, Trump’s presidency made some of us realize how much change needed to happen and fast. We had a reality star as President, and while people thought that was cute most Americans knew the integrity of our democracy was at stake. Saturday, November 7th was the best day of 2020. After a very harsh year filled with death, grief, disappointment, you name it, we collectively came together to push America back in a direction that our Grandchildren will hopefully thank us for. It will take a lot of work, to get back on track, and we have to hold those in power accountable but we now have Kamala Harris, a Black Woman as Vice President and Joe Biden, a compassionate, integral, career politician as President, and after the last four years we are grateful. The work doesn’t end at voting; I learned that in 2016 and I learned that this year as well. I joined the Biden/Harris campaign and made calls to the battleground states. I was cursed out, hung up on, and sent straight to voicemail, but I was also able to talk to Americans who were genuinely grateful for my call. Some senior citizens didn’t know where their polling place was and I was able to help them. It was such a powerful experience that I will continue to take part in because it’s my civic duty and I never want to feel as powerless as I felt the day after Trump won. What a difference 4-years make because today I woke up with a sense of peace and security. It felt so good to know that as Americans, we came to our senses and that Black women as usual, played a huge part in saving our democracy. Let’s celebrate now but we have major work to do.

Adulting in October

Adulting is hard and October was a major month for putting my big girl pants on and making major decisions for myself. After working for 10-months straight and not taking any vacation, I scheduled a day to visit multiple doctors and check in on my health. This wasn’t my own doing; my boyfriend pushed me to do so. It was a reality check to see that he prioritized my health and wellbeing more than I did for myself. After visiting my doctors, I felt accomplished. I felt like I finally did something for me, self-care at its best. So to everyone out there reading this, do something for you that your body, mind, and/or spirit will thank you for later.

Back in August, I was rejected for an apartment in my current building after being on the waitlist for three years. That rejection stayed with me, because I had my heart set on being on my own. One Friday, I decided to look again. Not with the intention of moving, just to see what was out there. I discovered an apartment complex named the PLG. The PLG has amazing amenities including an indoor and outdoor swimming pool, sauna, meeting room, dog park, basketball court and more. I had chills thinking about how amazing it would be to live in an apartment building like that. However, when I went on the tour, after discovering what the rent would be, I was indifferent. On a scale of 1-10, the building should’ve been a 10, but it was a 6.8-7. I took points off because while it had everything it said it did, none of the amenities were actually open, due to the pandemic and the elevator broke down while I was there. Also the apartment was really small and there were a lot of visitors there, just walking around looking at the amenities (probably family or friends of tenants). It just felt like a over-priced college dorm and while it was nice, it wasn’t worth the rent they were trying to charge, no matter how many amenities they offer. The next day I went to another apartment close to where I live now and it was so depressing. I can’t believe what real estate agents are marketing as apartments. The insidiousness of gentrification is real and it was a wakeup call for me as I thought about senior citizens and vulnerable populations of color; how are they supposed to survive in this market? This apartment had visible water bugs and I am sure mice. It was the size of a closet and there was no living room. The bedroom was a shoebox. The cost was over $2,000. To make matters worse, my mom and the real estate guy got into an argument, I was defeated. I knew the next day I had another apartment to view but I couldn’t get out of my funk. Would I ever be on my own? Would I ever find my apartment?

The next day was a rainy day, but I made my way to view this final apartment. The videos of it was nice but I was still guarded. The real-estate agent took me to the first apartment she had available, which had a big living room but a small bedroom and I did not like it. So she took me to another apartment with a big bedroom but a small living room and I absolutely was in love. To make a long story less long, I signed the lease the following week and will be moving in soon. I am officially on my own, and I cannot wait. The driving force to making the very scary decision of living on my own was the following pillars:

  • Independence
  • Control
  • Boundaries
  • Peace

These 4 pillars are important for me as I embark further into my adulting journey. Thanks to my many friends who coached me through this process, including Kadia who came up with these pillars with me, I am officially on my own. Now I am working on buying furniture, turning my new apartment into a home, and possibly hosting Christmas there.

Due to the fact that I’ve been working like a crazy person and personally trying to move, I haven’t had any time to watch TV. I did watch one movie twice because I thought it was cute called Love Jacked on Netflix. I didn’t finish any books this month, although I started Love Craft Country by Matt Ruff and I am still trying to read Coffee Will Make You Black by April Sinclair. I really don’t like Coffee Will Make You Black, but I am committed to reading all books before starting new ones.

My hair journey is going good and my hair cut is growing back but I kind of like it short. My skin journey is not going good but it will turn around because I found a black dermatologist, and she has me on a regimen. I did not celebrate Halloween this year but it was nice to see everyone’s costumes. This is a weird year. FOMO is something I am comfortable with because while I want to be social, I know how important it is to social distance during a pandemic. I discovered a really delicious Neapolitan Ice Cream by the brand Avenue A and Mango Sorbet from Trader Joes is the best thing since sliced bread. Check it out if you’re looking for a quick treat.

Until next month…

Six Months in Quarantine and Life

September makes 6 months since we have been quarantined; 6 whole months and after all of this time I am grateful for life. With learning that over 200,000 Americans passed away from COVID-19, how can you not value life? Life is so precious. We get to wake up every morning, sometimes with the sun shining on our face exuding its luxurious energy on us. We have choices with what we do and how we live our lives. The choice to live, the choice to love, the choice to create, the choice to reflect, the choice to give back, the choice to withhold, choices. Even constrained within my apartment, I choose to live, to write, to think, to take up space, to pray, to read, to love…I choose.

This month work became a priority. I was preparing for a major event that my company hosts which further pushes Inclusion for our employees. For those that don’t know I am a Diversity and Inclusion Manager. I’ve been doing this work for 4-years and I love every second of it. While this project has stretched me in many areas and kept me up all hours of the night, I have really grown professionally from this experience. Something that I am really proud of was being able to produce an event with the creator of the 1619 Project, Nikole Hannah-Jones and contributor, Linda Villarosa. Being able to amplify their voices, when so many are trying to tear them down was beyond powerful. One of the best parts of the production was a slideshow that we worked on illustrating some of the contributions of Blacks in America over the Black Parade track by Beyoncé.

In preparation for this major undertaking at work, I had to read some books chileeee. This month, I read:

  • Before the Mayflower by Lerone Bennett Jr.
  • White Fragility by Dr. Robin DiAngelo
  • Clap Before You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

I did go crazy and bought some new books too. I have issues. Here’s the amazing stack of books I plan to get through at some point. I say I have issues because I have all of these books and still somehow find an excuse to buy more, how is that possible?

Since I’ve been studying, researching, and reading, I honestly have not had time to do a deep dive into my TV world but what I will say about my TV journey this month is that it’s quality over quantity. I started watching I May Destroy You and I am left speechless. I have one more episode left and I will not watch it because I don’t want the series to end. I feel triggered. It makes me cry. It makes me laugh, it makes me feel seen but I am triggered and that’s all I care to say about that. CONSENT is such a powerful thing and I am so happy that Michaela Coel exists. I also finished the series Younger. Younger follows the journey of white women in publishing with one character who lies about her age to break into the industry. I was a huge fan of the show in the beginning but I think the storyline has exhausted all possibilities. I also think there’s a huge erasure of race and people of color on this show, which became stark as the seasons went on. I found myself focusing on opportunities where they could’ve casted a BIPOC actor and somehow did not. I plan on doing a deep dive on this in the future.

Summer came and went. It was the first summer; I really didn’t spend much time basking in the sun or going to a beach or doing anything like that. I was actually hella stressed this month. Out of that stress came a lot of things. One, I cut my hair. I am not 100% sure if my hair falls out as a result of stress…maybe. But it has been damaged for almost a year now and I just didn’t think there was anything left to do to it besides cut it, so that’s what I did and I think it came out amazing. After a week of begging, my boyfriend helped me shave the back off. Now that I am on my new hair journey, I wish I could report to you that my skin journey is going well but it’s still a hot mess. My skin has not changed since quarantine. I still have acne and dark spots and may have to go to a dermatologist.  

My boyfriend noticed how stressed I was and took me on an amazing date day. We went to the Sunflower farm in Long Island but unfortunately all of the sunflowers were dead. After that, we went to Lift/Next Level Floats, where for one-hour we left our cares at the door and floated in tons of salt water.

In other news, Breonna Taylor’s murderers got off scot-free when the grand jury charged only one officer with endangering the neighbors and their wall. No one was charged with the death of Breonna Taylor. How much more can we take? It’s painful. Really painful and this is only the beginning. In my personal education and learnings of race, I know I shouldn’t be surprised that America places more value on a wall than a black woman and yet, I am because it sounds so ludicrous, that America places so little value on life and the life of a black woman. Shame on the systems that uphold racism and white supremacy. Shame on it all. I want to remind each and every one of you to VOTE! Vote like your life depended on it because it does. That first debate enraged my soul. It was so horrifying to reckon that this is who Americans have elected as their President. Racism is wild. Continue to educate yourself on the racial history of the United States. Read books. Read Articles. Listen to Podcasts. Do the work.  It’s so important to do so.

Finally, Trader Joes has an amazing salad kit that I am obsessed with Broccoli and Kale Salad, yum. Sometimes I add shrimp to it, but it’s perfectly fine without. This is the perfect refreshing treat to jumpstart your fall in a healthy way.

Until next month…

In the Land of Mara Brock Akil

Happy WCW (Women Crush Wednesday for those that don’t know)! Mara Brock Akil is my SHERO, my favorite showrunner,  my role model, you name it, she’s my inspiration. Recently, it was announced that she inked an overall deal with Netflix, to produce content WOOHOO! Two of her amazing shows, “The Game” and “Girlfriends” are now also on Netflix.  I am literally in heaven!

In June, for her 50th birthday, Mara announced that the only thing she wanted was for people to answer this question: How have I made an impact in your life? She asked for folks to send it in the form of a video, writing, or drawing, whatever device we use to creatively express ourselves. I’ve never met Mara but this is what I sent to her:

A Breath of Fresh Air: A Quarantined Summer

August was literally and figuratively a breath of fresh air. The heaviness that I felt from losing Charlie was lifted and I began to make peace with it (inhale/exhale). I also went outside more and smelled the fresh air (inhale/exhale). It feels good to get back to the things I would normally do in the summer. It also feels good that the world is gradually getting back to normal and we are not being rushed back into it.

So where do I begin? Let’s start on a high note. I went to my friend’s Taurie’s Surprise Party and was greeted as soon as I walked into her parents’ home by two of the cutest dogs. One was sweet and the other was spicy and barking. However, once she saw that the sweet dog liked me, she began to curl up under me too. It felt so good to be surrounded by dogs again. It made me think, maybe in the future I could be a dog owner again. Taurie’s birthday was phenomenal. Spending time with my friends, who I’ve known for almost 20 years was everything my heart needed. It was a pink and white themed backyard party in Bedstuy and we ended the night singing Biggie and Junior Mafia songs…oh so Brooklyn!

In the weeks that followed, our wish for a new dog was looking like it would come true. We were supposed to adopt Jack (who is the dog of my mother’s adopted daughter). Jack was in foster care and needed a permanent home, unbeknownst to us, Jack’s foster parents wanted to adopt him too, they fell in love. The adoption agency tried to get him from the foster parents, but that fell through. Even my mother booked a ticket to the DMV to get him, but that fell through as well. I guess Jack wasn’t our dog after all. I wish his foster parents would’ve been upfront about their desires to keep him and not get our hopes up…we are still fragile.

Another false hope situation this month was being denied for an apartment that I was on the waiting list for three years. I got so excited because I knew it was mine. I went furniture shopping and my friend who is an interior designer, designed every room in the apartment, only for it to fall through. The woman who interviewed me said she could’ve given me the keys that day;That was such an unnecessary comment knowing that you denied me lady. Lesson learned? Never count your eggs before they hatch. While it was a bummer, I am sure Jesus has something great around the corner for me. I just have to believe that.

My skin and hair journey is completely down the drain. I may have to make an appointment with a dermatologist. I cut off my natural hair this month as well, but it needs to be shaped by a professional. I started Boot Camp again, which feels good to get back on my fitness journey. I haven’t really had too much time to watch TV, documentaries, or movies. I am enjoying Lovecraft Country, which is good. I did watch Black is King and cried my eyes out, (so beautiful Beyoncé). As you can see below, my TV game has been weak this month:

As for books, I read:

  • Barracoon: The Story of the Last Black Cargo by Zora Neale Hurston
  • Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams
  • What We Loose by Zinzi Clemmons

I re-read:

  • Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

I’ve been engulfed with work, so that’s where my focus has been. Please check out this article by Nikole Hannah-Jones on reparations. So good! I’ve been studying her recently and she amazes me.

To close out the month, I attended a few more functions. I went to my sisters birthday and channeled my inner Robin from Waiting to Exhale. Then I went to my friends Akilah and Rion Baby Shower, which was so beautiful. I also went to my friend Kalisha’s Birthday on a rooftop in Brooklyn. So yeah, your girl has been around.

Just to set the record straight, I will be going back into hibernation this fall, meaning DO NOT INVITE ME OUT!

The month came to the most amazing, stupendous, super-duper end, when Brandy and Monica did their Verzuz Battle on the last day in August. I have been on a high ever since. While I am #TeamBrandy first and foremost, I am also #TeamMonica. I still get chills listening to “Love All Over Me.”


P.S. Breonna Taylor’s murderers are still not arrested, can you believe this criminal justice system? Also, the cops have done it again, this time in Kenosha, shooting a man named Jacob Blake 7 times. He survived, thank God. When will America get it together? When? We are exhausted!

Also, our Black Panther, Chadwick Boseman is no longer with us due to cancer, which was extremely sad to hear.

Until next month…

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