Showing posts from 2016

Lies, Lessons and Self-Love: Getting To The Real Of It

Lying is really easy, disgustingly so at times. But even more than it is a fleeting trick, lying is unhealthy. Especially if you're lying to yourself at the same frequency that you're misleading others with the things you say and the way you behave. So, I'm going to be honest with myself for a change. My eternal quest is to not just find happiness, but to find it exclusively within myself. You should see all the self-love quotes that decorate all 12 of my journals and occupy the back of my door in Post-It form. My living space literally looks like a scene out of Being Mary Jane . I know that in order to attract love in my life, I must be totally okay and in love with myself first. But honestly, honestly , a huge factor in my self-love quest is my body and loving that. It's... okay. I don't hate it. It could be much worse, but I don't love it. It's functional and, as far as I know, has gotten the technical thumbs up from my doctors, but I don't love i

Basking In Blackness In Bahia With Travel Noire

After the first flight and first layover, I was less anxious and annoyed than I had planned to be. In fact, I was smiling. Subtly, of course. I expected to feel alone, lost, vulnerable, but sitting on that plane from Panama City to Sao Paulo, I was everything but. New York spoiled me, yes, but whether I thought it did or not, it prepared me to look at myself as a global citizen. Sitting on the train and walking down crowded city streets in different boroughs, it’s uncommon to only hear one tongue spoken in passing. There will be conversations that you technically can’t understand or jump into, but you feel it.  Foreign sentences don’t feel foreign, so sitting in this aisle seat hearing a black man speak in Portuguese—a language my ear was never trained for—to a white Brazilian after being told “Gracias” by an ethnically ambiguous fellow while in Panama’s airport felt like magic. I don’t feel lost even though I don’t fully know what they’re saying; I feel enamored. Inspired. Just b

Blackness Is A Poetry

Contrary to the current state of the nation and how it tries to tell our story—when "all lives" desperately try to smudge out our melanin like a bad eraser wasting space on a No. 2 pencil, but we go no where—I love my blackness more than anything. I love the way we have the strength not only to pray, hard and unyielding, but to forgive even when it doesn't feel deserved. When it isn't deserved, point blank period. I love how we sound when joined together in song, whether organized or by impulse, the natural harmonies that arise and the feelings that permeate from those choral moments onto any ears nearby. I love how dramatic we are, how we tell stories and our eyes wrinkle and out brows furrow, and the way our hands move when retelling even the simplest of anecdotes. Bodies swaying with narration. I love our sweetness, our sass, our sarcasm, our wit, our sharp tongues, our sympathy. I love our skin and how it glistens and glows, not burns and reddens, in th

Chance The Rapper Is In The Business Of Saving Souls

For those who are sad, Chance the Rapper's music is the antidote. I did not watch the ESPYs last night with the rest of the world (namely with Black Twitter). On one part, I don't have cable because I'm cheap, so there's that. But really, instead I was busy being sad. Sulking over personal trivialities that feel like mountains underneath the magnifying glass that comes with living in the swallowing oasis that is New York City. I went to sleep moody and woke up with an annoyance that set it off again. But what I was sad about isn't as important as what pulled me out of it.  My terrible digital-based-job-having-self habit is waking up, rolling out of bed and into the glow of my iPhone screen, scanning through both work and personal inboxes, texts and social feeds to see what I missed in those hours I was seeing black. As I scrolled past Carmelo Anthony and friends standing in solidarity for the Black Lives Matter movement, Devon Still posing with his cancer-

A Short Story I Wish I'd Finished

Maybe one day I will... ----- I'm truly not a fan of nature. The last two weeks have confirmed this to me. The itch and sting of swelling bites and blisters on my skin have confirmed this to me. The crack of dawn chorus of distressed howler monkeys, plummeting coconuts on my thatched roof and the roar of jungle rain each and every morning have confirmed this. Yet here I am surrounded by trees on all sides in a bungalow without air conditioning and flimsy mosquito nets feeling my skin become oily with sweat and humidity, sticking to the pillows of this bed, and Ted isn't even here. He's the whole reason I flew down here to Puerto Viejo. "Sam, let's take a different kind of vacation, you and me. Less party, more peaceful." We don't need a trip, we need a counselor , I'd thought at the time, but instead I nodded wearily and headed back to the bedroom to await details on the trip he just KNEW I'd love, because there's no "no" for Ted.