You’re DTP (Disturbin’ the Peace) headphone rapper!

So once again it’s that time of the month, and no, I’m not hear to share the stressful woes of the female menstrual cycle. I’m referring to my monthly Orthodontist appointments in NYC, that I must say are painfully depleting my bank accounts. For some strange reason I enjoy observing people: detecting emotions through candid body language and facial expressions that inherently give away their mood or attitude. As I rode on the D train, I stood against the door of the train, not particularly by choice, more so by limited seating options. I could’ve either chose to sit between those awkward three seaters and wedge my ass between two complete strangers and let the feeling of clostrophobia consume me or sit at the corner of three seats by the other two passenger seater, which is still pretty uncomfortable because everyone’s knees end up touching.Anyway back to my people watching narrative. I stood by the door, per usual lost in the sea of my own rapidly random thoughts. 

All of a sudden, my thoughts are unexpectedly ruined by one of the usual NYC headphone rappers. His voice wasn’t at an obnoxiously high volume to echo throughout the train, but I can tell from the facial expressions of the two women seated nearby him, they were obviously agitated. The younger girl seated adjacent to him wasn’t reserved or making any attempt to conceal her annoyance for the headphone rapper. While the older woman seated next to him just casually sprung up a light conversation in Spanish. Most likely discussing the headphone rapper. The two women refrained from eye contact, but their solemn expressions and conversation were most likely in regards to him. I stood there watching, not entirely concerned about what exactly it is they’re saying, instead the thought of reserved opinions of opposing cultures came to mind instantly. It’s interesting when people burst into their native tongue, discussing another race that they assume won’t understand. I wonder how often this happens and if their comments are a generalization of an entire racial group rather than just directed towards the individual who is just a representation of a particular racial group. My intentions aren’t to make this a race argument, but once again this observation was just one of the many things I see on a daily basis that spark up a thought which then transforms into a subconscious conversation. I was annoyed by the headphone rapper as well and wanted him to stop, but after all, this is America, Right? People have the right to freedom of expression, even in public settings. I wasn’t sure how long he planned to continue his horrible rapping, but I hoped his stop was coming up, so he could get off. I watched the women continue to speak with each other, amidst the headphone rappers train debut. I wish I could of atleast comprehended the lyrics or knew the song to appreciate his performance. Then, I might have been on his side and not mind his rapping. Now come on, we all have to agree they are some songs that you just can’t hum to yourself, you have to share it with the world irregardless of how horrible your voice might sound.  

This is just one of the random thoughts that go through my head while observing people. As I watched the women prepare to get off at their stop, I thought, I know they’re happy to escape this unwanted performance. The young man, continued without any concern for anyone around him until it was his time for him to depart the train. Once, he was gone the train resumed its silence. Only the screeching and rattling of the tracks were my soundtrack. 

Brothers Lessons

As a child, you teased me making sure my skin was tough enough for the cruel world and mean kids.

As a child, you showed me the definition of unconditional love.

As a child, it was you who taught me to fight with my hands, making sure I protected myself at all times. Protect myself from the bullies and people who tried to test me.  

As an adult, It was you who taught me to refrain from physical confrontation (unless necessary) but instead retaliate with my intelligence, wit and words. Always advising me not to allow anyone to be in control of my emotions. 

As a child, you told me to stay away from boys by saying “they only want one thing” Of course I didn’t listen, but i never once forgot what you told me and eventually had to discover the truth on my own. 

As a teenager, when you sensed I was getting a little too rebellious you purposely embarrassed me in front of my friends to keep me in line.

As a teenager you gave me “the talk” which you admitted was awkward and difficult to have at the time. Nonetheless you didn’t shy away from it, and in fact stood your ground. As a pre-teen venturing off into high school you taught me to observe my environment, most importantly the people surrounding me and not become “that girl”.

As a college student, you went against guy code and gave me the emotional insight of a guys mind. Sharing with me that males and females are actually more similar than society tends to make it seem.

As a college graduate you taught me to not undermine my degree and not allow terminations from temporary jobs tarnish my determination. You told me to stop bawling and go back to the drawing board. 

As a college graduate, you told me to hold my head high and be persistent, constantly reminding me “Yolanda you have a Bachelors degree, you’re one step ahead of so many other people”. You told me NOT to give up, but instead continue searching and diversify my options. 

As an adult, you supported my decision either way between packing it all up and returning home or sticking through the difficult times and living on my own.

As an adult, you advised me friendships change, people change, while assuring me it’s all apart of life. All that matters is that I do not allow those external factors to break my spirit and ruin my self perspective or self esteem.

As an adult, you told me there’ll be moments in life where I’ll feel alone, but I have to get through those times to discover and understand myself.

As an adult, you told me I have to create my own happiness by finding my happy song and playing it even on my bad days

As an adult you told me to stop trying to impress others and just focus on myself.

As a child, I wanted to be like you. As a child, I felt protected and safe in your presence.


Now as a woman I want to thank you for every new life lesson you ALL teach me

As a little sister, (the wash belly) and the last of the bunch, I’m not exactly sure what I’ve taught you all. I just hope whatever it is, it was worth it. 

Even if I had the option, I wouldn’t have changed anything.

Thank you for the brother lessons.

The Mystery under the wig🤔😳

I finally decided to take my wig off-Sounds so funny to say, but I promise I’m not a balding Middle Aged woman-I’m just a twenty-something year old who’s trying dabbling in alternative inexpensive protective hair style options. 

A few days ago, I somehow mustered up the confidence to take my ombré two toned, dark brown and blonde shoulder length wig off. Yes, I unleashed the fro ✊🏾


I got a little tired and annoyed with the constant heading patting and itching. I think that was either a sign from my hair that it needed to be washed or just a “let me  loose cry!”

So I did as my hair requested. I took the wig off, unbraided my cornrows and man, I tell you, it felt goood to be free…

Now, I was standing face to face with the real me in all of my natural glory. I stared at my natural tresses, examining it intently, stretching the ends to measure the growth and then wondering what the hell Am I going to do with “this” for work.

I thought maybe I’ll think of something once I begin combing through it. And surely, I thought of a cute little twist out idea. The process of this cute little twist out was longer than I expected. Once I start styling my hair, I don’t give up. No matter how long it takes. 

I lathered my hair with my Creme of Nature Argan oil Buttermilk moisturizer, placed shea butter and  around the perimeter (on my edges and nape) for extra moisture, sheen and protection. After, I began the nearly two-hour process of parting my hair into small boxes and doing two strand twists. I still haven’t figured out how to do three strand twists, so for now I’ll stick to what I know. 

The next morning after I was completely showered and dressed, I unraveled the twists. I was a little aggravated because a few twists were awkwardly jutting out of my scalp. I was prepared for those little unruly twists, I used a small amount of Eco gel to hold them down. Thanks Eco Gel, all this time I’ve been doubting. You came through when I needed you. 

Then I was out the door and off the work. The gentle breeze lightly passing over my scalp, like cool fingers as I walked towards the bus stop.  

          

  Later on that same day, one of my fellow naturalista co-workers greeted me with surprise and enthusiasm for revealing the mystery under the wig. She encouraged me to wear my natural hair more often work and revealed her dislike for my wig wearing. Usually I would get oftened by such comments but in actuality, I was receptive and appreciative of her realness. 

It felt good to be me, feel like me and show the real me at work. 

She hasn’t changed my views on wearing wigs, but she has empowered me to switch it up,by aternating between hair style options.  I don’t always have the time or energy to retwist my hair. Plus, wigs are easy and convenient protective options. 

I guess I can let my hair out a little more often from now on. 

A Naturalistas Plea- Sometimes growing is the hardest thing to do

Throughout my entire life, I don’t think I’ve ever had a more infuriating love/hate relationship similar to the one I have with you. 
For years I’ve tended to your needs, by helping you get rid of the excess stress and damage when needed. Mainly because I thought this would be the new, fresh start you deserved. On top of that, I keep you well groomed with the appropriate amount of trimming. I’ve protected you from harsh climates and chemicals. Always making sure you were first, without regard to the price because  your protection is what matters the most. Hell, I’ve even kept my word to never ever ever eveeer allow you to relapse and revert  back to feeding your creamy crack addiction. 

I did my part in this, now it’s your turn to do the same. I’m working non-stop in efforts of tending to your high maintenance needs.

It’s been 4 years, going on 5 and I’m still dealing with your stubborn stagnation. I’ve put up with you for so long. And you’re right, I haven’t always kept my promise or maintained my consistence And I might have even switched my actions a few times, yet not once did I ever dare to give up on you and most importantly OUR journey. 

I want this relationship to flourish but you have to work with me too, not against me. Believe me, when I say this, I want nothing more than for us to grow, but more importantly for you to grow and reach your fullest potential. 

 Come on, it’s been a long time coming, please do this favor for me and 

just 

GROW! 

“If I ruled the world” America’s Youth Edition 

Recently I’ve been on an obsessive binge watching spree of Radio interviews. I have this urge to be educated by the latest media coverage, podcasts, blogs, documentaries and interviews. Whichever source has some vital points and topics of interest, I’m all eyes and ears. At this stage in my life I’m beginning to realize the power young people have, unfortunately, we’re not taking full advantage of it. My older brother and I had one of our weekly lengthy convos, which of course includes his updated on my adorable niece Nila, family drama, his life then maneuavers into politics and the latest news. As much as I despise political conversations, partly because I don’t care for politics, the parties or people in it. Yet, he made a valid point when he spoke about Jamaican parliament and it being controlled by ancient dinosaurs refusing to renounce their place in power which inevitably comes with loss of money and national recognition. Instead of allowing young people to breathe new air into the beautiful land, the dinosaurs denounce the thought of young educated, innovative and forward thinking leaders becoming their successors. Then I thought of American politics and the depressing current state most of us are in right now. As we all know, America has recently announced President-elect, Donald Trump as the upcoming U.S President. Trump, who is the embodiment of traditional patriarchal spokesman as opposed to forward, contemporary and innovative leader which is what America needs. Instead of moving forward and helping the country expand, I think with this decision we just placed America in a time machine.  This week my brother, Carl enlightened me about the powers of the youth. After watching several interviews with prominent entertainers from Jidenna, Trevor Noah, Erykah Badu to Pharrell whom all spoke profoundly about their concern for the nation and encouragement of youth involvement.   After Trump’s expected win, I was hurt and disgruntled with the nations supportive decision of Trump. Nonetheless, I was the least bit of surprised.  Anyways, back to the youth. There’s so much power in our voices and ideas, we have to stop allowing the older generation in politics-not power- from perceiving us as inferior solely because of our age. So many of us, whether college educated or not obtain more knowledgeable than the so called antiquated thinkers with leadership roles. I’ve heard numerous leaders use the cliche phrase, “The Youth is our future” “we do this for the youth” on numerous accounts, yet why won’t anyone give us a open platform to hear our thoughts, view situations from our perspective and allow us to be leaders of the nation? Young people we are innovative thinkers. Young people when we collectively group together and implement our ideas we can reform the ancient systemic ideals. Young people we are the future. the decisions we make now, actions we make and platforms we set will garner a newly improved American nation we always dreamed of. Forget about the past ways and what used to work in America. Strive for new change and national progression. Can’t you see that most of our current issues pertaining to education, racial tension, economic deficit, climate, inequality, m housing, immigration are all just examples of history repeating itself. We’ve been taught from a young age that anything toxic or causes a hinderance towards progression should be evaluated then eliminated. Americas old leaders are unwilling to let go of their positions and traditional views simply because of absolute fear. Fear of the greatness this nation has the potential to achieve without a percentage of their influence.

Out with the old and in with the new.

For a first world country, which prides itself on forward thinkers and leadership, America sure does rely heavily on the past rather than reform old habits and replace them with new ones for the future. American chose a man who is the epitome of the racial ideology and belief of traditional America. 

Personally, I don’t want America to revert back to its racially oppressive, segregated ways. Anyone who wants to read this and decides label me as:

Ant-America

Anti-White

Anti-Trump

Well go ahead, after all your first amendment allows you to think freely and express your opinions freely. I’m not Anti-anything but what I am is, anti-racist and anti-sexism.America needs a change and old traditional ways is not the resolution. Is it re-election time yet? 

Am I ashamed to call on your name?

On Christmas Day, at the dinner table I found myself making the most pitiful and hesitant attempt to gather my family together with an announcement about prayer. I know and I am sure of my personal connection with God, but in the moment I became unintentionally reluctant to call upon him and openly thank him in front of my family. My brother teased me for the sad attempt I made with my low-tone, almost incomprehensible prayer. Interrupted by him and my own embarrassment, I stopped. I quickly turned to my right, where my mom was standing and asked her to bless the table filled with dishes of baked Mac and cheese, vegetables, ham, oxtail and BBQ chicken. I was embarrassed of how I cowered in the midst of my Brother’s innocent mocking. Most importantly I felt ashamed of myself and ashamed for disappointing God.
Now I’m looking back at Sunday, December 25,2016. Feeling haunted by my lack of bravery, my poor attempt of initiative to gather everyone and openly express my gratitude to God. When did I become such a coward?  I call on God in the silence of my mind and speak to God in the loneliness of my room. Yet, here it is I couldn’t even find the courage to announce a simple prayer or orate a simple thank you in front of my family. The family God blessed me with. There’s no shame in praising God or expressing gratitude, so why did I lack courage that day?

Have I become detached from God, that I’m ashamed to call on him in the presence of others? Maybe, I’m just trying to prove to the world that I’m not a pious, religion imposing saint trying to secure my spot in the kingdom of heaven. I’m not overtly Religious. I don’t  practice a specific religious belief. I am spiritual, in the sense that I acknowledge the existence of a higher,powerful being. This may seem confusing to some, however, my belief and preference to associate my self with spiritual belief particularly derives from life experiences. Also, believe it or not I was once a Sunday school regular. I don’t ever try to impose my thoughts or beliefs on anyone. I simply, believe what I believe and I encourage others to do the same. Yet, for some reason I lost my voice that day. 

I’m sure God wasn’t please with me, and now I’m openly expressing my apology, hoping that he forgives me for being afraid and ashamed about acknowledging his presence in my life. 

Dear Solange, Thank you.

Confession: I listen to Solange’s 2016 album, “A Seat at the Table” at least once every week or two weeks. If not the album in its entirety, I play a few tracks throughout the day. It’s just that great and I mean it. This album does something to my soul and allows me to be delve into a creative space. When I listen to the album it’s as if the words trapped in mind are easily brought to life with my pen and poured out onto my notepad. “A Seat at the Table” is empowering, thoughtful, thought provoking and magical. 

This album is authentic and unique in its representation of Black Pride and Pro-Blackness. Solange perfectly pieced this incredible album together with soft melodies and harmonies, meaningful lyrics and powerful words from  featured speakers. Her angelic voice filled with soft notes makes it seemingly effortless for it to match  wit the varying genres on her album. The songs on the album range from a classic R&B vibe to groovy 1970s sound to modern hip-hop. The sound and feel of “A Seat at the Table” is as electic and original as Solange’s fashionable ensembles. I have the feeling that unlike numerous other musicians who work tirelessly to acquire mainstream attention end up derailing from their true musical purpose and message, by selling their self short just to appease listeners. I hold the utmost respect for Solange because I don’t think she purposely made any tracks to appease listeners whether they are Solo fans, not fans or first time listeners of her musical craft. Her popular singles, “Don’t touch my hair” and “Cranes in the sky” lyrically and visually depict what she represents. Solange is not afraid  to show her love for her Black culture and share it with the world. “A seat at the Table” is unapologetic and in no way, I absolutely mean no way is Solange trying to measure up to her  Super-Star Big sis, Queen Bey (Beyoncé). So for all of you Bey Hive supporters and nay Sayers, Solange’s 2016 album proves to the universe that she can and has made a name for herself. Her authentic afrocentricism is untouchable✊🏾. Solange is fearless for this album in various unimaginable ways. For so long, I have listened to Solange’s music, admittedly copied a few hair and fashion ideas from her, but all the while I felt as though she hadn’t acquired the fame or acknowledgement she deserved.  Her sound has always been a little different from other artists, having a sort of 1950s-1970s musical influence. She is truly an old soul in a young modern woman’s body. “A Seat at the Table gives me so much hope for the future. In the midst of every financial set back, job loss, social isolation,emotional withdrawal and self-doubt, this album brought me through each day with a smile and optimism.  Solange has earned the recognition she deserves by creating such an authentic and lyrically beautiful album. I have no doubt Solange’s vast fan base and super stardom will reach all time heights. There are thousands of young people who resonate with what she represents, including myself! 

This album will go down in history as a classic. It’s depth and influence surpasses it just being perceived as a great album with songs. It’s a movement.  It allowed listeners to feel, to think, to understand and to learn. Most importantly, it taught us to love our Blackness regardless of societal perpetuating images and messages of Black cultural hatred.  We are stronger and greater than the world wants us to believe. 

   Thank you Solange Knowles for blessing            2016 with “A Seat at the Table”

Can I Have “A Seat At the Table” of Success?

For so long I’ve feared doing what l love the most. Simply for the fact that I was afraid and I still am afraid no one will support me. I fear the thought of starting something new and lacking a supportive foundation for my endeavors. I commend those for their bravery by just going out and seizing their opportunity without exception of immediate success. I watch some of my closest friends and acquaintances or people I know from my a respectful distance, live by the Carpe diem motto. Each day I wake up and I see another person fearlessly challenging their self and their opposers by succeeding in their endeavors. As I sit back at home just aimlessly scrolling, reading their captions their comments, I can’t help but to wonder, “when will it be my turn?” I hate to admit that a part of me feels envy. Not envious of their success or watching their dreams unfold. Envy in the sense of how did they find the courage or time to dedicate to pursuing their craft. Fashion, entertainment, acting, corporate, modeling entrepreneurs. 
When did their desire to thrive transition from a phrase of,

I hope to… I wish to… I want to…
into, 

I will…I plan to… I am…

Meanwhile my life seems to be at a stagnant halt encompassed with a list of disappointments. 

To my fellow friends who read this, I ask for you to please not interpret my expression as an envious confession but as a revelation of admiration by a close bystander. I was once told by a woman of great intellect and wisdom beyond her years, that God’s timing is not your timing. Therefore we shouldn’t be hasty or anxious. God hears all of our prayers, once you bring your prayer to him, Let go and trust in him. Have faith in his timing. Yet, this was and still is my main issue. I repeatedly pray to God, addressing the same issues unable to let go of my unhappiness. I was dwelling on my dissatisfaction without appreciating the infinite good I obtain. I wasn’t making a way for myself or giving myself time to be happy. I just complained. I know that God hears me, Eventhough I may not know when he’ll answer, my prayer will inevitably be answered when he sees fit. My time will come. For now I’ll treat these cloudy days as lessons In humility and patience. There’s no way I can or will become great woman in one day. 

Friends continue to strive. Family continue to strive. I will cheer you on from the side line. 

I wish all of you success in your endeavors.

Sincerely,

Your Admiring friend

Undefeated 

Don’t ever get too comfortable 

We are all disposabale 

Even when you think and are truly convinced you’re giving your all, someone can drop you in the blink of an eye without a  warning, without even the slightest hints. 

So don’t ever get too comfortable

Don’t become to complacent

Always keep your head held high and your hands firmly clenched and don’t allow them to see or get the impression their decisions have made an impact on your life. 

Don’t ever get too comfortable in a relationship 

In a job 

In life 

We all have a purpose. Don’t ever allow anyone to make you feel worthless, incompetent or inferior. 

I’m saying all this because today I lost my first full time job as a recent college graduate.

I’m not too sure of the reason, but I believe in God. 

I believe that a higher power saw it fit that my life, my passion and dreams and presence are needed some place else. 

Truthfully I’m terrified. 

I’m 8 hours away from home,living with one of my closest friends and trying to figure out adulthood each day. 

I don’t know where to go from here, but I’m not going to fear the unknown. 

If I did fear the unknown I wouldn’t have made it this far. Yet, I have so much farther to go.

So to all reading this post. 

Don’t get comfortable, don’t be complacent and never doubt your greatness. 

Signed a jobless recent grad, trying to figure life out. 

“God never gives a man more than he can bare”

Don’t ever get too comfortable 
We are all disposal 
Even when you think and are truly convinced you’re giving your all someone can drop you in the blink of an eye without a waning, without even the slightest hints. 

So don’t ever get too comfortable

Don’t become to complacent

Always keep your head up and your hands firmly clenched and don’t allow them to see or get the impression their decisions have made an impact on your life. 

Don’t ever get too comfortable in a relationship 

In a job 

In life 

We all have a purpose so don’t ever allow anyone to make you feel worthless, incompetent or inferior. 

I’m saying all this because today I lost my first full time job as a recent college graduate.

I’m not too sure of the reason but I believe in God. 

I believe that a higher power saw it fit that my life, my passion and dreams and presence are needed some place else. 

Truthfully I’m terrified. 

I’m 8 hours away from home,living with one of my closest friends and trying to figure out adulthood each day. 

I don’t know where to go from here, but I’m not going to fear the unknown. 

If I did fear the unknown I wouldn’t have made it this far. Yet, I have so much farther to go.

So to all reading this post. 

Don’t get comfortable, don’t be complacent and never doubt your greatness. 

Signed a jobless recent grad, trying to figure life out. 

“God never gives a man more than he can bare”