Nikes Up in Flames

Furious rage spreads like wildfire among former Nike consumers following the multinational brand’s 30th anniversary ad campaign featuring, former 49ers Quarterback, Colin Kaepernick on Monday, Sept. 3.

As people across the nation relaxed from a day off work: indulging in festive barbecues and parades; the fate of the nations political stance relied on (Kaepernick) who yet again broke the internet-not by taking a knee this time, but standing in alliance with the iconic brand, inevitably sending social media users into an enraged frenzy.  Which led most to raid their closets and rid their wardrobe of Nike apparel. Supporters, applaud Nike for its act of morality in commending Kaepernick rather than condemning.  

Since the announcement, social media uncontrollably buzzes with supporters reposting Kaepernick’s controversial Nike ad.

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Along with celebrities and ordinary civilians, alike, creating their own variation Kaepernick’s photograph.

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The country now in divides as Nike supporters take a celebratory stance on this decision versus the opposing side igniting flames to their Nike gear.

When did freedom of speech and protest represent disloyalty?  Athletes and public figures, who have an established platform are entitled to exercise their personal beliefs and advocate for unresolved social injustices (i.e, routined police brutality).  When did protesting for basic human rights and equality become a symbolism of national hatred or deemed as unpatriotic?  

Even with all this heat Nike faces from protestors, the brand seems to have its laces tied tight, in preparation to walk through the fire, refusing to kneel to the status quo. Even if it means jeopardizing the global brand.

According to Edison Trend most recent sales report, mentioned on MarketWatch, Nike has witnessed a 31% increase, in opposition of the anticipated decline influenced by national protests.

We are not too sure what the national divide in consumership means for the future of Nike sales performance. Evidently, Nike is unwavered by the protests and threats.The company remains optimistic about their choice and refueled to extinguish any flames set in their path.

“Are your Dreams Crazy Enough? If they seem impossible right now, you’re doing it right.” (Quote featured on Nike’s official website page.)

Feel free to indulge in some hilarious and controversial memes featuring familiar faces. Enjoy!

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Long Live X !

Lately, I’ve been doing my best to ensure that I  practice what I preach; keeping in mind to reciprocate the same energy unto myself I exude to others.

It always seem to amaze me how the death or birth of one person could shake the world up and evoke universal emotions, causing people to put their differences aside. So, when you hear people say music is their life, believe them it’s no joke. XXXTentacion’s influence on his cult-like fanbase is proof.

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The name XXXTentacion might be unfamiliar to most and up until his death that was probably your first introduction to him. For other people, just hearing his name brings tears to their eyes. I have a confession, when I received the news of his death, it took me a minute to put a face to the name. Even then I still had some difficulty and immediately did what most people do when we need a visual reminder, googled him.  I had never personally went out of my way to search his music and listen to it.  I told myself I wouldn’t listen to the hip-hop freshman of this generation and cancelled him out before even giving him a try.

Well, look at me now. I spent the last few days since XXXTentacion’s transition (06.18.2018) obsessively listening to his music on streaming sites such as sound cloud and apple music. I have to admit his talent exceeds far beyond intense messages of his troubled life and turnt up riot music. He presents his real life experiences, pains, and inspirational messages to fans, then etches them into his musically inclined talents.

His musical style is an infusion of diverse genres including: alternative rock, heavy metal, and of course, hip hop/rap. My eyes have been glued to youtube searching for any answers to reveal the truth about his untimely death-others may arguably say, it was a publicity stunt and he’s still very much alive.

This is why the cliche “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover” quote continuously resurfaces in my life. Before listening to his music, I remember seeing images of XXXTentacion: dreadlocks wildly protruding from his head, dark squinted eyes, tatted body from face to torso and a grim, unsmiling face.

0621-xxxtentacion-insta-3I saw the images and instantly judged him. I’m usually not one to judge, but let’s be honest everyone judges to some extent, whether it’s intentional or unintentional.  I’m in no position to judge, but his pictures gave me a eerie vibe. My first thoughts were, he’s either on some heavy drugs; a demon worshipper in the industry; or just another trap rapper, with nonsensical rhymes who will end up having a short lived career.

I guess in some instances my judgement was true, indeed his career was short lived but to my knowledge all of my other assumptions held no truth.

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From what I read in articles, heard in his lyrics, watched on youtube interviews and his social media videos, his life wasn’t perfect and he wasn’t perfect.  Based on the alleged assaults and incidents he seemed self destructive; constantly getting into fights and harming others. Yet, he was mindful of becoming a better man and he used his music as a cathartic method to express his personal pains, while voicing his opinions about the injustices of the world. He served as a catalyst for the youth to promote love (on all levels), and speak positivity; always reminding his supporters (mostly adolescents) to not cheat themselves of living to their greatest potential.

XXXTenatacion was categorized as a  “black sheep” “troubled”  whatever other adjectives the media and the general population have listed him underneath are welcome to this list. It truly saddens me to write this post because we all have a purpose-maybe his was fulfilled or only getting started. What so ever it was, each of our experiences are different for a reason and no one leads a perfect life. By the way, what is perfect? if you’re perfect then you’ll have no room to grow or learn. Ask yourself this, would you rather be perfect than flawed?  The human race has fallen into the dark pit of desensitization. We are quick to label, judge, scrutinize and condemn without having  full awareness of ourselves and confronting our own demons.

I didn’t know him on a personal level or even reached a pinnacle to converse with him. From my personal research, I’ve only seen the media depict a distorted perception of him. Yet, i decided to perceive him in my own light and not based on someone else’s opinion of him. I always try to remind myself:

Keep an open

Research

Know the facts

& Bring them to the table with YOUR perspective

In the days, months, years to come, I hope the novelty of XXXTentacion’s death doesn’t wear off instantly. We live in an age where gun and gang violence are normalized, we mourn for a few seconds then quickly forget and move on with our lives.

Yeah, you might read this and call me a “fake supporter” but sometimes it takes death for someone to live eternally. I don’t mean live in the sense of physicality but spiritual and lyrically. I’ll admit, I’m not a day one but from now on I’m a forever.

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Rest easy Jahseh Dwayne Onfroy,  the world will NEVER forget you.

LONG. LIVE. X.

STOP Age-shaming

It truly bothers me when I hear people say.

“OMG, she aged terribly. She use to be so beautiful when she was younger”

“Ughh, that’s her now, what happened?”

It’s hurtful comments like this, that lead any woman to feel irrelevant and most importantly, unattractive.

I get it. We’re all ugly to someone, and  you know what? that’s fine cuz they’re just as unappealing in someone’s eyes.

It is often said, women are the most beautiful when they’re in their prime, so enjoy those looks while they last because they won’t last forever.  It’s nonsensical and condescending statements like these that preserve a shameless cycle, causing women to dread the natural process of aging. Hence, the growing reliance of plastic surgery.

In my eyes beauty is an eternal evolution. There’s no time limit to it or an automatic, beauty off switch.

Reminder: “Just like fine wine, (women) get better with time.”

Think about it, calling older women ugly is basically a 5-finger slap to the faces of our mothers, aunts, grandmothers and sisters.

So when I hear women who often shop in the store I work at, jokingly express their feelings about looking too old, having too many wrinkles or no longer possessing the beauty they once had. It upsets me, because I think to myself will I be repeating these same exact words while looking at my aging face and reminiscing about my glorious youthful days.

And this is what brings me to the premise of this post: The age gap.

The age gap between older women (50s+) 30s-40s, teens-20s, and of course adolescent girls. There always seems to be a competitive nature; the enjoy-this-little-high-you’re in because your time will come when you will be my age.

Yes, I’m speaking from the standpoint of  a 20-something. Which is all I can do at the moment.

It took me a while to see my beauty. Honestly, I still have more days where I struggle with seeing and believing it, opposed to my good days, when I see it and can’t help but to obsessively take selfies. Don’t judge me… you know you have those days too.

I’ve realized through all of the physical trauma and emotional distress my body has endured in my developing life, I’ve always found ways to reinvent myself; forcing me to love myself in new ways. No, it hasn’t been easy and it’s still not easy. Even as I’m writing this, I’m trying to find ways to remain as truthful as possible without sounding cliche or like some corny self love enthusiast.

I see older woman in my family (i.e, my mother, aunts, sisters and cousins)  praying that God and all of life’s b.s gracefully bestows me with the amount of beauty they have.

Inevitable aging is feared. I understand our adolescent years and early adult years are some of our most joyous, carefree and adventurous years. However, just because that chapter in life ended doesn’t mean you’re automatically cast out into the sea of uglies.

You’ve probably struggled during those early years to find yourself, fight the negative comments and insecurity. Eventually leading to self acceptance and love for your unique traits. It’s the same concept with this new mature and wiser woman you see in your reflection. She’s you, she’s experienced, she’s alive, she is a walking book and she is ever-evolving.

Just like love, true beauty isn’t rushed.

You are ever-evolving.

Beautiful evolution.

 

 

 

Beautiful disaster

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If you perceive beauty, the way I do; you’ll know beauty arises from  and is often hidden in some of the most tragic, depressing and ugliest moments in our lives.

It’s been nearly a month since my mini-getaway trip to PR. Which I have to admit turned out better than I initially anticipated. My best friend, Shayna, felt it was only right to celebrate her 25 years of life on a beautiful tropical island;  Me, being the tropic-lover I am, just had to say YOLO and agree to it.

I’m sure it sounds like we had our trip all planned out for weeks, but the truth is, we didn’t. Prior to the trip and the impending arrival of Shayna’s birthday we spent days indecisively choosing between California or Florida. I guess you can tell we just wanted to be somewhere warm. Then she finally asked, “what do you think about PR” At first, I was a little reluctant, since PR is only a few months shy of full recovery from the devastations of Hurricane Maria. I did some research and-without sounding insensitive-we both figured since San Juan is the capital, it should be in better shape as opposed to the other cities/towns and nonetheless, visitor friendly.

And, just like that our decision was finalized.

My parents being the worried wart’s they are, were concerned about my sudden expedition to Puerto Rico. They tried to come up with every plausible reason for me to cancel the trip. Here are a few examples, just so you get an idea (just add a Jamaican accent!)  Is it safe there? Didn’t PR just have a hurricane? Are people even traveling there?

Did you tell your job or request days off?

Are you sure you’ll have a job when you come back? 

Of course, being the stubborn and determined person I am, I still went on the trip.

Prior to embarking on this excursion, I knew this trip-regardless of where we went- meant more to me than posting sexy, thirst trap beach pics for ig/snapchat and posting my geo-location above my pictures (because of course everyone wants to see which hot spot you’re at). Taking a trip anywhere was important to me, simply because I would get a chance to not only celebrate one of my closest friend’s Quarter century, but it allowed me to get away from the mundane routine of work, home. eat, sleep (repeat). It gets depressing after awhile.

It reminded me that I come first, and money can’t always grant you happiness. I became exhausted of my obligations and the long awaited opportunity to break free finally arose.

For most people who aren’t from NYC or don’t reside here. Respect my honesty when I say, NYC is a cold place (literally and figuratively). Sure, snow is pretty for the first few minutes it falls, but once it sticks, it becomes a mountainous storage unit filled with dog feces and what NYC is infamously known for, its illustrious street trash. Still sounds like an extravagant winter wonderland? Nope! Haha, I thought so. PSA for all of the out-of-state people: if you ever come in the winter though, please do enjoy.

I had to plan an escape from this place even if it only meant a few days.

I’ve been rambling a lot, but now I’ll move on to the exciting part, “Ahh, Puerto Rico Ooooh”  (I’m corny, but if you just read that verse without singing it, then you won’t understand the intended joke. it’s a popular hook from Frankie Cutlass 1990s rap song,“Puerto Rico”. I’m sure every New Yorker has heard it as some point in their lives.

Thursday, March 1, 2018: I left NYC Thursday morning and arrived at PR in the evening (thanks to my one hour and half flight layover in North Carolina I arrived later. Still happy nonetheless, I made it safe and sound. Majority of my flight was spent with my eyelids closed and music in my ears; partly because of my persistent fear of flying and intent to contain all of my energy for PR festivities. Who wants to spend their vacation jet-lagged? I definitely don’t.

First Day in San Juan: I took a cab from  Luis Munoz Marin International Airport en route to my weekend home.

Shayna and I being the young and broke, working 20somethings we are, decided to take  Kendrick Lamar’s advice and be “Humble.” Instead of living beyond our means and Bow Wow’n for the gram, we took a low key approach by renting out an airBnB in the city of Carolina (not far from the airport, beach or night scene). There were local stores, endless dine-in/ takeout food spots, bars, hotels, and lounges. In a way I guess we lucked up by finding this area. It felt good not having to spend tons of money on Ubers or scrambling for change to take the bus.

When I arrived, I freshened my self up with a cold shower and brushed my teeth. Shortly after, Shayna and I touched the road! We both took advantage of the chance to show our legs and embraced the beautiful warmth the winter deprived us of. We spent a few hours walking the strip trying to decide on the perfect place for authentic Puerto Rican food and drinks. We set our eyes on a quiet-looking diner. Forgive me, but majority of the places we dined at I don’t remember the names of-I’m trying my best to retrace my memory by reliving the moment. Sadly I’m unsuccessful. I enjoyed a nice filling plate of mofongo ( mashed plantains) with chicken and a sangria. Shayna, took more of a vegetarian approach, white rice with beans and maduros mofongo (mashed sweet plantain) with a mojito. You should already know, two women with delicious food, comfy clothes and beautiful scenery only leads to one thing, a loooooong conversation and laughter. On the way back home we took note of which spots we would add to our To-Do list.

One of the best parts by far was the refreshing feeling of not being disturbed by my annoying alarm clock.  Nearly every morning, Shayna and I woke up either close to noon or at noon exactly. Somehow the days felt incredibly long, which permitted just enough time for spontaneous adventures.

March 2, 2018: Second day in PR the first thing we ventured out to do was of course our #1 priority, the beach! Fortunately, for us the Isla Verde Beach was within 10 minutes walking distance from us. Between us both walking really isn’t a issue, so we trotted our happy asses down to the beach.  Following the rejuvenating salt water baths, we had to see what a typical Friday night in PR entailed.  We dressed in our weekend’s best, ready to slay and headed out for sight-seeing in Old San Juan.

Old San Juan was about a 20 minute drive, if not less from Isla Verde. The architectural structures of the vibrantly painted buildings, cobble stone roads, narrow streets and historical monuments reminded me of scenes I’ve seen in movies. I could feel the essence of an island filled with deep rooted stories. There was this beautifully eerie feeling of Old San Juan. In some ways it felt like nostalgia to me.  I was enticed to absorb as much information the engraved plaques, signs and images provided. I felt at home in Old San Juan.

March 3, 2018 (Shayna’s Bday!): It was officially Shayna’s 25th birthday and everything was up to her. Shayna is such a chill person that she was content with going to the beach, a lounge and checking out the PR club scene. As she wished, was what we did. We went for another midday beach trip: tanned, received our salt water detox, posed for the camera and Shayna successfully hit a coconut off a palm tree. Later on that night we got dolled up, enjoyed dinner at a sushi restaurant and followed up after with a few drinks and hookah at a local hookah spot next door.  Around 2 a.m. we set out for the ultimate Puerto Rican club scene at La Placita!

March 4, 2018: Officially my last day and Shayna’s second to last day in PR. Reality of my impending departure slowly sank in, it was almost time for me to back up and head back to NYC. We decided to go out with a bang by conquering our fears of heights with hiking and zip lining through the forest. Honestly neither of us were aware caution waivers had to be signed before this life-threatening adventures. When the man brought out the paperwork, I started to seriously reconsider my decision. So much for YOLO. We were in too deep, neither of us could back out; our session was paid for and the Uber driver was nowhere in sight. So we signed the papers, strapped up, listened to the instructors advice and we were sent on our way.  Hiking up the trails wasn’t the scary part ( I confess, it had me a little winded, I told myself I need to be more diligent about exercising). It was when the zip-lining attendants strapped our harnesses on to the zip-lining cord that the surge of nervousness stung my body. The first two out of 6 zip-lines were a little intense, but after a while the routined strapped harnesses, sitting back and extended legs followed by a fierce push became second nature. I just prayed my zip-lining wouldn’t stop half way through zip-lining because I’d have to fend for myself.

As you can see I survived it, so for those of you who are thinking about zip-lining at some point in your lives. I’d say definitely go for it and take this from someone who is intensely afraid of heights. It’s an experience you’d love to check off your to-do list, rather than say I wish I could do that.  Why live vicariously through someone else when you can do it yourself?

Amidst all of the heart ache, trauma, devastation and fatalities Puerto Rico has endured during and after Hurricane Maria. This island remains vibrant welcoming, and resilient but most importantly beautiful.

I admire Carib people for seeing life as an endless celebration and being innovative with their limited tools. Although, I didn’t get to experience Puerto Rico in its entirety (that’ll be a little difficult to do in the space of 3-4 days) I felt the spirit of optimism and progression.

I’ll see you again PR.

Black Panther: A Hidden Gem

Is Black Panther really for the culture?

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Some claim the film to be over-hyped, while others perceive it as a cultural movement.

After all the hype and major suspense, leading up to the official premiere day of “Black Panther.” I finally bought my ticket (a few days later because the movie was sold out the entire weekend) and with the company of my 7-year-old nephew, we headed out to join the glorious nation of Wakanda. (sigh) No, we didn’t join the wave of wearing traditional African garb. Truthfully, I don’t own any at the moment (yea, yea, I know shame on me). However, we still looked pretty good in our casual modern, westernized ensembles.

It’s refreshing to see Black actors (of all ages) step away from Hollywood’s stereotypical “Black roles” which often limit our narratives to enslavement, and a variety of other societal forms of oppression: drug dealers, impoverished/ struggling working class people, drug addicts and common victims of authoritative inflicted violence.

Let me just say this, any movie that makes you want to join a fictionalized nation is- in my opinion- a life changing and enjoyable experience. I’d love to live in Wakanda; if it were a real nation, I’d revoke my American citizenship and move there in a heartbeat.

I mean no shade to the hundreds of other classic Marvel superhero films that have countless remakes. Once again, no shade, noooo shade:(#AllMarvelSuperheroLivesMatter). It’s just Black Panther’s story-in contrast to his fellow Marvel counterparts- was never brought to the forefront and popularized in the mainstream. Black panther isn’t a new super hero on the scene, he’s nearly 6 decades old. So, yea, he’s pretty mature at this point.

I guess it’s fair to say, some of the best things are worth waiting for. & 2018 was definitely Black Panther’s time so shine.

It warmed my heart seeing various hues of beautiful brown complexion grace the cinematic screen and deliver their roles with ferocious power.

Black Panther presented more than just vibrant, intense combatting; dope high tech equipment, afrocentric beauty; national/cultural pride; innovation and traditional rituals. It depicts, the story of Africa in a positive, uplifting and forward thinking way- without the spoon fed HIStoric accounts of poverty and emaciated people. Before someone comes on here and tries to burst my proud ‘black panther bubble’ let me clarify; Yes,I’m aware the story is fictionalized. But there’s no denying that the influential sources derive from actual African cultures.

WahKinda LOVE? WAKANDA LOVE.

 

Another thing, I’ve been keeping in my hypercritical mind when it comes to watching movies are the overt portrayals of love and the role(s) each love interest plays.

Now, we all know it’s clear who the film’s central love interests are: T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) and Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o)

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T’Challa plays the role of a powerful leader who is both influenced and weakened by women. His sister Shuri, is a young innovative scientist, whose technologically advanced inventions- with the use of a natural resource (vibranium)-enhances T’Challa’s abilities, allowing him to seem nearly indestructible against his opponents. It’s with Shuri’s inventions that T’Challa simultaneously defeats and protects his precious Wakanda.

 

The film projects heterosexual love in a different light for both genders; Love is perceived as patient, unwavering, persistent, protective, and eternal. The love T’Challa displays for his country and lover, Nakia, are somewhat similar, yet deeply disparate.

The romanticized stereotypes of male obsession, sexual acts, conversations revolving around the male figure were not present in this film. Tbh, I’m relieved. I’m beyond tired of these redundant, cliche plot lines.

Neither, T’Challa or Nakia, portray cliche gender biased characteristics (i.e., the female= submissive or usually lacking self-confidence, sometimes both; male= dominate, popular and physically attractive) instead T’Challa and Nakia demonstrate their strong rapport through mutual respect and balance. The males in the utopian society of Wakanda level the playing field by showing respect for their women through, inclusion, understanding, leadership and influence. There is an overall respect for female influence in Wakanda.

I find  T’Challa’s inability to think or speak freely in Nakia’s presence so cute and innocent. What’s even more humorous about it, is how often he’s teased for his act. Once again, there is a clear message of the strength feminine aura upholds in this society and its undeniably powerful influence on men.

Nakia asserts her power by vocalizing her wants and aspirations to T’Challa. Although Nikia is offered the  honor of claiming the throne as T’Challa’s wife and Queen of Wakanda; she chooses  to follow her own path and fulfill her desires before settling for a life blanketed with comfort (You go girl!).T’Challa respects her wishes and continues to show his undying love for Nakia in other ways.

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I appreciate the writers and most importantly the characters for showing us that it’s possible to express love far beyond the confines of physicality or intimacy. Not once was there an act of sexual expression or subliminal messages. Thank God! It would’ve been awkward having to explain that to my nephew. 

Both characters were aware of their significant roles in one another’s lives, but used their love to join forces to fight for their even greater love, Wakanda.

So, to answer the question. Yes, I wholeheartedly believe Black Panther

is the culture

for the culture

and is a representation of the culture.

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Anti-thot Anthem: Who wouldn’t want SZA for “The Weekend”?

Lately, I’ve been having a major issue with people categorizing SZA as a “thot” or advocating for the  “thot lifestyle”.

Thot strange word, right? I know some of my readers probably have peculiar expressions on their faces,  wondering what in the hell does that mean?

Well my friends, this slanged terminology simply means Hoe or let me be politically correct, an avidly promiscuous individual.

As you can see I have a thing for digressing, but it’s all in good nature. I just want to clarify any misconceptions and allow my readers to understand what I’m saying.

I might have just added a new word to your vocabulary. You’re welcome 😉

I’m very aware of the fact that I don’t know SZA on a personal level. However, there’s something powerful about a music artist’s ability to be lyrically vulnerable, which helps bridge the gap between artist and fan, causing you to feel as if you really know them and share their pain.

Well let me say this I resonate all too well with the situation SZA sings about in her popular R&B track, as some may call it a thot anthem “The Weekend”

I’ll just sprinkle a tad bit on you. The content may be too heavy for the faint, uppity or judgmental hearted.

“My man is my man, is your man, heard that’s her man too Repeat. (…) Tuesday and Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. I just keep him satisfied through the weekend. You like 9-5, I’m the weekend.”

Let me clarify this, in no way shape or form am I promoting infidelity/Side chick-ism. I simply just want people to actually listen to songs (not just the beat) hear the sources -in this case- the artist’s P.O.V, in order to truly get a sense of why they wrote the song? What place were they writing from? What influenced them to release their song to the public?

SZA starts off by saying “You say you got a girl,  how you want me, how you want me, when you got a girl.” The latter verses explains that this young man clearly holds no emotional ties to any of the women he is sexually involved with. His sexual desires are fulfilled through various sexual partners.

SZA explains from her perspective that she enjoys being sexually intimate with him and desires to have it more often, so she is proposing to reach a compromise with the other women where she can selfishly have him all to herself  throughout The Weekend. During weekdays, the other women can work it out amongst themselves. SZA is basically saying, he’s for everyone and each woman gets their fair share of his loving.

In this age and I’m sure many women of past generations have encountered experiences where they willingly accepted to play a role for the sake of their lover. Sometimes we as human beings. become selfless for our partners and blindly agree to what numerous other people would contest too. Those same people are the first to give you the vicious side eye, advising you how to live your life. Of course, it’s through their clean, unscratched, perfectly wiped narcissistic lenses.

I’ve played many roles in my life and I’m not proud of them all, neither am I ashamed.  I’m a young woman who takes ownership. Maturity  and growth is a daily learning task, not some intuitive instinct we’re born with. Everything takes time and we all live different lives.  I’m not perfect, hell no one is.  I support SZA’s stance on the weekend and stand firmly in her perspective that she is not promoting infidelity, thots or side chicks.

And I reiterate for the umpteenth time, this is not a “THOT ANTHEM”

When artists like SZA are willing to be candid and freely share their pain and life lessons through their love of music; I ask that you please listen and refrain from judgmental labels which only hold negative stigmas and connotations.

I am not a thot or a fucking whore. I am just an imperfect, flawed, sometimes naive, too nice, too understanding and accepting 20 something.  What can I say? I guess that’s just the growing pains of a 20 something. Every experience is either a blessing or a lesson. My personal experiences may not be the best, but I’m grateful, now I can say yea I’ve encountered some situations where  I traded my morals for the temporary fulfillment of lust. Yet I survived.

I might just help another maturing woman through her situation while withholding the I-am-holier-than-thou attitude.

Thank you SZA for your words and sharing your experience.

Sometimes the worse experiences are the best stories. 

Here’s a link to the song as well, give it a listen and comment with your opinion of the lyrical message. I’d love to hear other perspectives.

“The Weekend” By SZA

And remember, Those who can’t relate are always the first to judge!!

#JustSayin

#SorryNotSorry

Carpe diem!

I think I know the moment I became disconnected with myself.

While residing in Buffalo, I allowed myself to settle for any mediocre job opportunity that was at hand, for the sake of making ends meet. I hated every second of each temp job I attained. During this time I allowed other people-employers-to look at me and form their assumptions about what I needed. And that desperate need was settling for their low wages, ridiculous long hours and heavy labor. I allowed a string of employers to both indirectly and directly tell me that my concerns and future aspirations did not matter; what mattered the most was my commitment to clocking-in to their schedule and doing what they demanded.

I lost myself, I lost hope of my dreams and I was blinded by the negative, bitterness to break free. I began to agree with them and after a while I began showing up to work with the forced poker face, trying to convince myself “Ok yolee, just fake it until you make it, that’s all.” I was so caught up in the hype of having my own apartment and my own space, but in reality what I truly lacked was a sense of complete ownership. The ownership of my decisions, career, love-life, relationships with others, and my life in general. I was lost, struggling to hold on to everything, without realizing that nothing in Buffalo was ever really mine. I rented an apartment, I relied on public transportation, and I lost friends, so in retrospect I had not owned anything.  All I truly had was myself and I often questioned that.

I’m nearing my fifth month of unemployment.

Today, I decided to take a chance without second guessing or overthinking the possible outcomes. Lately, I began accepting rejection as a commonality in my life, but today my warrior spirit showed up and led me to seek out a long awaited opportunity. I was watching everyone around me- close friends, former school peers and even relatives attain their glorious success in the job market.  I even believed in the reassuring repetitive phrase, “Don’t worry your time will come, it’ll show up when you least expect it.”

So you know what I did, guess?

I waited…waited and waited. I’ve been waiting for almost 5 months for this wonderful, mind-blowing opportunity to miraculously appear in my emails or present itself in a voicemail.

The wonderful opportunity didn’t arrive, but you know what did, my good old reliable friend, rejection. For these past few moths she’s been a dependent one. Always ready to greet me with a welcoming smile and open arms. I hated her so much and the more my hate grew the more she swelled with pride.

Today,

I learned a few lessons about myself, 

I allow fear of the unknown to control me and potential progressive steps. I also accept the possibilities of defeat to prohibit my attempts,

I learned that for some people, the universe sends opportunity their way without restraint. As for me, well the Stewarts in general we have to walk out in to the world and pave our own way.

Today as my feet led me to my destination there wasn’t a speck of self doubt within my body.  I opened that door for myself and God opened it on a spiritual level.

If I had not left my mom’s apartment I would’ve remained comfortable in my daily duties of texting and  waiting for replies; waiting for calls I’ll probably never receive, flipping through channels and raiding the food pantry for my umpteenth snack or meal of the day.

My brother made a valid point yesterday. He said to me, we’re already at a disadvantage because we don’t have a foundation to build from and nothing was ever handed to us.

I’m proud of myself for seizing the day, and placing myself back out into the world to show them who I am and what I’m capable of. I somehow landed an instructor specialist job based on my degree and the qualifications on my resume.

I’m completely nervous about this new chapter I’m about to open in my developing adulting memoir.  It’s scary, kids are scary, but I trust God knows what he’s doing for me and with me. my story is just beginning, my life is just beginning and there’s so much more to go.