Recently, I have been showered in words of affirmation
As if I’m a magical being, from a magical space
People have poured out beautiful words
that have completely elevated my appreciation for who I am
I have been told anything between “you have a beautiful mind” to “I wish I had a you”
This has touched me, deeply
Not in a “this is new to me” sort of way more so a “you see me”
-Sort of way
It is easy to feel invisible when you feel that your life’s purpose is to help others
And it seems that when they see you all they tend to see you for is how you can help
This is the life of a band-aid
A natural supporter of anything good and everything they love
We are the band aid’s
The ones who show up
The ones who spend countless of unaccounted hours holding on
We are the band aid’s
the one’s you keep behind your mirror in the bathroom
For the just “in case’s”
But do you ever wonder, that band-aid’s might need band aid’s too?
As much of an honor it is to be one- we all need one
To be there
To kiss and make things all better
To receive love that they don’t have to ask for
To be held without having to instruct on how to hold
We, the band-aid’s
We do not need to be told
We identify pain
We offer support
We do not wait
Can you imagine how much pain, and breaking and ripping and tearing
Shedding and molding and failing that it took for that band aid to even become?
How many times did the adhesive fall off
How many times did the water wash us away
The band aid is a blend of all the things people wish they could be
Society holds band-aids in the highest of esteem
But much like public school teachers
so few ever choose to remain
Because it is a thankless position
You are celebrated for being there, because the need is endless
Things get really tough a lot
and it is the band aid that does the hard work
The ugly work
The heavy lifting
But all cuts
Both in the deep and in the shallow-all heal in time
They all stop bleeding, eventually
And for a few moments, that band aid mends anything that may have tried to break you
It quite literally supports you so fiercely that it helps you to piece yourself back together
But what happens to the band aid?
It gets dirty
It gets soggy
It gets old
And then it gets discarded
Often before the cut even fully heals it gets replaced
I am the band aid
I have always been the band-aid
It costs me nothing to love you
I find it easy to be there for you
I neither gain nor lose anything I have within me by doing so
I am a giver.
In this life, it is important to identify what it is you practice
Because you get really good at anything you practice
As a band aid, I practice giving and gratitude
I practice unconditional love
Whether that love is reciprocal or not, it is what I practice
And I practice for free.
So that I can give for free.
I believe that you get what you give
I want unconditional love
It is all I have ever wanted
I practice vulnerability
It is all I have every wanted
I practice empathy
It is all I have ever wanted
I practice transparency
It is all I have ever wanted
I practice honesty
It is all I have every wanted
And most of all I practice joy
It is everything.
I am committed to healing myself
My nurturing and healing qualities allow me to be there
And I neither gain nor lose anything I have within me by doing so
Anyone that I love and believe in, it is easy to love you
It is easy math for me to be there
I manifested the person I want to be
And I know that I will receive everything I need and deserve, eventually
I am a story teller. Because i believe that we all have a story worthy of being told. To be here still, after all these years, is a miracle. I’m very blessed. I’m very thankful. Life is so so precious. And our time here is fleeting. I choose to enjoy every moment. I choose to cherish everyone I hold near to me. I choose to not live in fear. I choose to lead with love. I choose to only be surrounded by love. I choose to forgive. I choose to keep learning. Keep growing. I choose. And we are all a reflection of our choices. This year proved to me that my growth and strength have really increased. The storm always comes, but my ability to adapt- I must say. I impress myself. I’ve recovered from things that just a few years ago would have completely debilitated me. For that, I’m grateful. So anyways, I reflect on a daily basis but especially on my birthday. It’s an opportunity for new life and better things. I wish myself more of the good things. More discernment with how I spend my time and with who. I wish myself more discipline to achieve more goals. More travels! More memories with my loves. I wish myself even more peace of mind. Kindness to my reflection. Less “sorry’s” for being who I am. More appreciation of my life’s challenges. More wisdom to navigate the ups and downs. And most importantly a deeper acceptance of the fact that i am so deserving of joy, love and compassion from myself and from others.
I’m so blessed to see the day I turned 28 on the 28th on a Sunday. The symmetry and significance is too important. Who would’ve thought.
The masses frantically buying toilet paper clorox is scarce. hand sanitizer is even more rare.
everywhere there are masks, hiding my favorite feature
on every channel, every story, every tweet
black lives matter
And it’s true
changing my fb profile picture to the same black square I protested with in 2014 reminds me
I’ve been here before
a whole lot of heartache, headaches now too
and i just long for outside
the release of the mask from behind my ears
makes me wish for a space to feel full again
I’ve been blowing bubbles
I’ve been reading
I’ve been cooking
And sometimes not eating
I’ve been walking
I’ve been teaching
I’ve been taking baths
Drinking green tea
And I’ve spent hours talking to my dad
And Netflix binging
but isn’t there more?
more than this?
Connecting from cellphones and WiFi and TV
I miss the street
I miss the ground that reminds me that I belong here
Solid and safe
my size 4.5’s walked confidently
now sometimes my ankles buckle at the thought that
this earth is cracking
crumbling into oblivion
and that I could lose the me that i’ve worked so tirelessly at creating
now I’m just looking for something to hold on to
I’d like for someone to hold on to me too
my security blanket, a harness just in case
I’ve been looking for a smile in my smile
mirroring the me I used to know but can’t see
So I’d like a pair of brand new eyes
And a new view too
Cause it took a lot to get here
A lot of building, A lot of falling
A lot of growing, A lot of trauma
A lot of consistency, A lot of pain
A lot of rising from the rubble
And yet, life’s mysteries never fail to remind me of the delicacy of my brain
rushing water over brown hands
I have a new scar there too
these hands can’t wash away the memories
A wise man said, the memories remember me
and for me-they play on a reel
they just keep going-and so I can’t keep still
i am in need of something real
something that I can feel
because the peace I need, I’ve only found in pieces
through voice notes
through twitter rants
and through dreaming
I remember as a child I’d play make believe
because discovering an alternate world just made it easier to breathe
I am in need
And while it’s getting harder to swallow these pills
I promised myself, “I will not neglect me”
I choose to live
and while a major shift in my relationship feels hard to forgive
I choose to love, I choose to build
In need of a little romance and maybe even a good cry
There is so much left I’d like to do here
But taking things day by day is the only way I have managed to survive
It’s been almost 100 days like this
And sometimes the sun doesn’t shine
Still- there’s light
The rain endures for days
Still- there’s water
The clarity I hope for is like driving with wipers
I can see better
And bit by bit I hope to feel better
But today is just a day. And yeah, I’m Okay. For tomorrow? There’s really no tellin
The black, curly, windshield lashes of my eyes-wiping tears away
Each and every time I drove past my uncles street for months I could never hold it in
Some years ago, I wrote one of my favorite pieces called “Life’s Nutrients” it was inspired by a visit to my uncles place and his showing my dad and I around his blossoming garden-full of peppers and melons. Okra and strawberries. Tomatoes and berries. He nurtured and grew in his back yard every year. He’d always share not only with us but also with his neighbors.
Every time I saw him I would always laugh, eat and enjoy good conversation. That day was one of my favorite visits to his home and there were many.
My dad always tells the story about when my siblings and I were all very young. Like babies. there was a very bad blizzard but we needed milk and diapers;
My uncle walked I think like 30 minutes each way there and back in the blizzard to get what we needed
I love this story because it’s just a snapshot memory of the essence of the sort of person he was
Last year, end of May, his life ended
In his home
A home he’s lived in for over 25 years
A home I always admired the ceilings in because they had sparkly spikes and it was mesmerizing
A home I ate so many plantain, Yam and stew in
A home my dad found shelter and safety in
On many occasions
I know what it’s like to lose
To miss someone who isn’t coming back
Last year I experienced what it felt like to lose someone so very close
Feels like just yesterday chilling in his house in his Gucci sweatshirt and sweats and slippers cracking jokes about the current president
That was the last day I saw him
I remember my uncle used to alter a lot of my clothes and for free
Always for free
He teared up and thanked me in Twi, the day I gave him a thank you card when I picked up my things
I thought it was the least I could do
He taught me so much about how important it is to be grateful
And to be a good person
One of integrity
Last year, some of my closest friends organized some time
To spend with a deeply grieving me
I was so sad
Buried in grief
So unlike myself
And they surrounded me in love
We never talked about why we were all there that day
And we didn’t need to
We danced and laughed
I still wish I had the appetite to eat all that seafood
We shared drinks
And we just plugged into the moment
That helped launch me out of the pits
And it meant a lot to me that I knew people
Who chose to spend their time on me
Time we will never get back
It’s urgent to me
To spend time
Not just physical time
but intentional and quality time
with people I love
It means the most to me
Because we don’t know what will happen
in any other moment than the moment that we are in
Anything can happen
So I don’t take it for granted
Often, I reflect on my journey
journey of self love, self care, healing, growth and awareness
and sometimes I feel like the only one
The only one who can feel the changes
The only one who felt the bandages fall away
The only one who can see the scars
The only one who experienced such a great pain
The only one doing it on her own
The only one who’ll even acknowledge the progress and growth at all
Life gets really hard
Sometimes we will grow weary
But I’ve grown to keep love and only love near me
The thing about grief is that it never ends really
You just shift through cycles
It just becomes a part of you
So please excuse me when I’m in a bad mood
And I can’t quite explain it
And please, show me love even when it’s not my birthday
Cause I see things differently
If you’re important
I need you to feel special and loved
Especially by me
I thought my uncle would live forever
He survived so much already
But man, anything can happen!
And I don’t wanna die all alone
This world is so cruel
So take the time to say your grace
Take the time to hug your friends
Take the time
Until there’s no more time left
Do you believe in miracles?
I’m a walking talking, living, breathing-miracle.
If you know me you know since birth, i was not supposed to be here.
I was never supposed to be who i am today.
And you know that I have had several encounters with almost death.
I’ve experienced a lot of trauma
Still, I’m here
And that alone is a miracle
Some people never recover from the things that I have gone through
Some people have lost their smiles
But here I am, its 2019
and I find myself standing in a door way
leaving one place and entering another
excited for what lies before me
and proud of the rooms and doors I’ve walked through and closed in previous years
I was nervous about 2019
since 2013 every odd year has been a very trying and tough year for me
but i decided that ends this year
I have the power and authority to declare that this will be a good year
and I believe that it will.
So here we all are standing in our own doorways
somewhere in the grey area of our transitions into a new chapter of life
are you ready?
i have a good feeling about this.
One of my soulmates posted this beautiful photo of herself today and it triggered me to have a jimmy neutron type brain blast! I even went to finally get my cracked phone screen fixed because of this.
I am constantly thinking of new ways to be creative and express the love that I have in my heart. I love Black History Month because it is the one time where blackness is celebrated outwardly. In what spaces…to what degree…and how genuine are all questionable. And the fact that we as a nation minimize the value of an entire people to a single month is unbelievable. I know.
However, my critique of Black History Month is different. I’m looking through a different lens this year. I feel that Black History Month is a lot of the times so depersonalized. It focuses completely on the outliers. There is a separation between who is chosen to represent an entire people and the everyday black person. The typically over-romanticized but incredibly important figures that we all know and respect so much for all they’ve done…the amount of change they provoked should not be minimized and they should be recognized for this regularly.
But I’m seeking a deeper level of representation. I’m seeking balance.
We all are valuable as black people. And we are magical. Everyday bruh. Our blackness stretches so far and wide. I believe that our family members. our friends. They have done for us internally, what grand historically black figures have done for the country and our race as a whole.
So like I said, I saw this photo of this black woman, my friend, and I decided to challenge myself to create this screen saver/haiku challenge. I’ve been working on disciplining myself and working on committing to things and being held accountable to complete what I say I want to achieve. So this will help with that (encouragement is welcome)! Also I truly believe that the essence and work and passions of all the people I will be posting daily will make a huge impact on the world.
In some shape or form these people will shake this earth. And of this I am certain. I do not know how they will, but they will. And my rationale behind this is not solely because they are friends and family of mine who I know and love personally. Or because they all have impacted my life.
But it feels pretty appropriate for a month dedicated to Black People and Love.
So I’m challenging myself to be as objective and succinct as possible in order to capture their importance in this world as black men and women. As leaders. And as change makers. I’m trying to describe them how I feel the world should remember them. And as much as I want people to just believe in them like I believe in them off the strength of the fact that I love them.
I want their being, to speak for itself.
And I will reflect on the entire series by the end of the month-ish on heavens hotlines (I know I pump faked on the last series but that one needs time to evolve so it’s on pause). Anyways, yeah it’s important for me to reflect because this is about them but it’s also specifically about me. It’s about me thinking about me through thinking about them. I know that might not seem to make sense. I know. Super meta.
(Follow series on IG: shetheroses)
The harmonic sounds of steady rain, meshed with a hailstorm, blizzard and wind dancing on a window surround me. It’s half past midnight, and I can’t seem to calm these thoughts. I had pretty intense conversations tonight. Tough conversations. Vulnerable conversations. These conversations among a few other experiences have inspired me to work on this new series, ‘The Collateral Beauty in the Synonymity of Love.’
“Dear Love, I God you” has always been one of my favorite play on words and witty use of synonyms. “Love” and “God” are synonymous. Because God is Love. But is all Love God? Love is more than a feeling or a choice, it is an action or a decision. It also has synonyms. Love is synonymous. Though synonyms can essentially be used interchangeably, they always mean something slightly different. For instance, a synonym for “mad” could be angry, infuriated, enraged etc. We interpret these words as virtually the same, however, I want to highlight how they all explore different degrees of the same emotion.
That is my intention behind this series. To distinguish and make sense of the synonyms for Love. Love is synonymous and there are different degrees of Love.
“I’m in this”
“I am committed”
But it’s important for me to explore the similarities and differences in the degrees of love because I think, or know, I sometimes confuse Love. Not necessarily in regard to confusing it with lust or infatuation or romanticization. Rather, with acknowledging the degrees and being able to acknowledge and accept them for what they are. As much love as there is that lives inside of me, I’m not sure I’ve ever known or shared it with others. I’ve rarely acknowledged the degrees of Love that I have experienced. I think this because I have not taken the time or initiative to learn Love. To distinguish it or even recognize it, especially when it appears differently than I’d imagined. I hope that by writing this, I am able to understand more about giving, receiving and accepting love of all varying degrees. Instead of disqualifying the Love that I have received based on ignorance and lack of knowledge.
There’s a hurricane on the lose.
wrecking my brain, and aching and reminding me that I am not the same
changed and ever-changing
Growing, I’m still growing
but am I glowing?
Enthralled by feelings of self-doubt, worry and “not good enough’s”
We live in a plastic world, where you are expected to be on point.
From the moment you wake up until dusk- you must
do better. try harder. study more. work longer
Why don’t we remember to breathe? or eat? or sleep? or Be?
Too often we forget to breathe.
I sat outside last night for the first time in weeks
to just breathe.
I watched the moon, and oh how I’ve missed the moon
listened to crickets chirping and admired the wind
Do you ever miss the parts of you that make you ‘You’ deep within?
Tired of existing in this space where the objective is perfectionism.
What are we doing here?
What is the purpose?
I’m reminded of my humanity
of my strengths, of my weakness
And I want to curl up and hide some days
because if people knew, that I was fragile too…
we’re all going through something
weaving through the ins and outs of each day
and the pastor just keeps saying “Pray”
But I can’t ever seem to find the words to say
I wish I felt every day how I feel at dusk
that brief moment between the sun resting right before the night falls.
when the day is done- and you have won
I want to notice the world happening all around me
to smile, genuinely
to compliment somebody
to try, to take risks, to make mistakes and even to fail
but for that to be okay.
I want to release my emotions
to laugh and to love and to be happy
but somedays I find myself frowning behind smiling teeth
suppressing-suppressing, this heart
this heart that keeps me grounded
I find myself sometimes uncertain, living minute by minute anxious of the thought of “what’s next?”
I ask myself, “when do you ever rest?”
dreams haunt you about tomorrow or money or assignments
you look in the mirror and sometimes you see a mess
switch it off.
the negative thoughts
or your soul will pay the cost
and know that things will be alright
be brave, don’t isolate
and just like the pastor says pray
pray in song, in dance, or maybe even draw
turn off your phone; unplug
God knows you, you gotta know that you are loved
And most importantly, stay free
take the time to breathe at dawn
thankful for the blessing that is a new day
yeah, you might not get everything done
yeah, there may never be enough time at all
just keep your eyes focused on the love, the triumph and the victory you’ll feel at dusk.
Think the happy thoughts and just Be.
I was moved to tears today.
At the thought of allowing God to slip from 1st place in my life.
The other day I sat on my uncles couch inquiring about how to move forward with God. And he quoted a scripture as a means to encourage me not to condemn myself for not always understanding but just to have faith and obedience. That scripture was Isaiah 55:8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways” and when I heard this spoken about in church I was so moved because I’m like something is really tugging on my heart.
Every Sunday when I go to church I feel like that feeling of confidence and accomplishment of a new start. Much like you’d feel when you hit the reset button and blew through a game for your Sega* (game system sorry if you’re too young to catch the reference lol) Sundays are my favorite day because of this. I continually feel refreshed like its truly a new day but then I asked myself, why can’t I feel this every day? Why can’t I carry this with me every where that I go?
I realized that when you put God first everything else aligns itself in your life. And in order to be ready to receive your blessings and miracles you have to be committed and focused on God in your life and trust that he will favor and provide for you in all things.
So when I cried today, it was at the thought that I’d ever put my first love in second place. Distracted by relationships and social environments among other things I realize I was trying to align things on my own and i’ve experienced how things fall apart when you do that.
I believe that everyone who believes in God can always grow closer to him each day so I just want to encourage anyone who has been grappling with their happiness, conflicting emotions, condemnation, failing or just feelings of emptiness. Seek him and you will find. And every time you will see that you will be alright. It’s the most important and peaceful feeling when you finally realize how to finally move forward in your life.