All of 2020 was especially hard to sleep for me, but the month of November took the cake. Six am bedtimes from relentless insomnia made my mind wander over the possibilities for my work.
After a Reiki session weeks prior, I realized I could no longer (and had no desire to) use my precious time to speak to those who seek to oppress me. There’s nothing I can say to make my oppressors see my humanity because they themselves are vacant of humanity.
During one of those early morning insomnia sessions, I saw the ways I’d gotten lost in centering whiteness (again) with my work though I was determined not to at the onset. …
This is a first, I’m sure. Only a special kind of person (or a delusional one) would write a letter to an acute respiratory disease that has put the world on its heels.
Well, the fact that you’ve got the world at a halt, this could very well be my personal version of crazy kicking in on day fifteen of quarantine.
To be honest, staying inside isn’t all that bad for me as an introvert, but does feel different as it’s not a choice, but a way of life at the moment.
Personally, I don’t see any silver linings or bright sides with your arrival, but I do see a teacher. …
Two years ago, after Anthony Bourdain died, I shared some words on Instagram about what he meant to me as someone who had an innate pull to see the world and its people.
A follower commented and said, “Suicide is never a solution. He should have fought his nemesis.” To say I was infuriated was an understatement.
This person went on to explain to me that many people followed Anthony and that they may be tempted by suicide because of him.
As much as I felt angry by this persons lack of empathy and miseducation, I felt an immense amount of sadness for people who don’t have a community around them that assures them of their safety. …
Hostels can be a hit or miss, and after spending time in almost one hundred of them, I know this to be true.
They’ve made me want to pack my stuff and find a flight home, but after learning my deal-breakers in booking them, my travel experiences, and sleep have improved dramatically.
Consider these six things when booking hostels:
“Hot showers are a blessing” are the five words that I have thought or spoken aloud after taking a shower so hot the steam fogs the mirrors and stings my back unexpectedly.
Not only is hot water a blessing when traveling, especially after long travel days, but when it’s coupled with the pressure of a thousand hoses capable of washing the day from your skin, mind and, fingernails (this is of the utmost importance), consider yourself lucky. …
The suicide rate in America amongst Black youth is increasing rapidly, and we have to ask ourselves why we are not collectively outraged by the preventable deaths of Black children.
In November 2019, a frightening study was released by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), which concluded that suicide attempts increased 73% among Black children between 1991–2017 and decreased 7.5% among white adolescents.
The study revealed suicide ideation and suicidal plans declined among US adolescents between 1991–2017; however, suicide attempts increased exclusively among Black adolescents.
Black boys between 5 and 11 years old have experienced an increase in suicide deaths, and in Black children ages 5–12 years old, the suicide rate is two times higher compared to white children. …
If there’s one thing I share with pride, it’s that I’m a Gemini. I’m actually a Gemini sun and Gemini rising, which basically means I’m four people in one.
Gemini’s tend to get a bad rap from the other signs with labels such as “crazy” because of our multiple identities. But, the way I see it, we’re able to see and understand issues from all angles because of our varying perspectives.
Problems are never black and white for a Gemini, and this varied way of thinking, I believe, has its benefits and allows me to study issues around justice and equity through a unique lens. …
I will be the first to tell you I have no desire to be famous. The thought alone sends me into the most intense sweats and makes me want to run and hide. I honestly don’t know how celebs do it.
I still get uneasy when pitching major publications because “Oh my God, what if this is the piece that catapults me so far, and I can’t turn back”?
It’s such a funny thing to be a writer. I want to write a bestseller one day, maybe even five, but I don’t want the press that may come with it.
I want people to read my work, but I don’t want them to pay too much attention to me. …
My longest relationship to date was four years and ended in 2016. In hindsight, we should have parted ways many times through the years, but we convinced ourselves that dysfunction and toxicity was love.
Throughout our time together, I always found myself reading relationship advice columns, blogs, and books to better our relationship.
After an argument or fight, I would go down the rabbit hole of how I could be and do better. I sent him an infinite amount of articles while we were both at work for him to read and learn alongside me.
We even had one couples therapy session, which was my idea and is comical because I was a whole twenty-three years old. …
Almost every week I scroll to find a video on Twitter of young, white girls and boys, usually, teenagers expressing some of the most hateful, racist behavior toward Black people.
They laugh and giggle and look into the cameras of their smartphones as they repeat the N-word and wish that we, Black people, “could go back and experience slavery” without any care in the world.
If I didn’t study early childhood education and child psychology during undergrad, I might believe the conspiracy theorists who claim racism is determined by nature, not nurture, to rationalize what I was witnessing.
It would be easier I suppose, to believe that the hate that we see as a result of white supremacy is due to a brain malfunction rather than what it is: a lesson that is taught. …
I often look at photos of myself as a child and wonder what I was thinking and what I knew at that age. Then I think about my late teens and early twenties and remember always wanting to be older.
Always wanting to be a year older because it seemed, the good stuff was saved for the grownups. I thought by the time I was twenty-five, I would become privy to the secrets and truths of the adults who I presumed had it all figured out.
With naivety, I assumed with added age, life would get easier, and I would have the key to all the answers. …