After 3 months of distancing myself, I gave in and entered my favorite conversation spot.
My barber hadn’t lost a beat with his frustrations with customers’ lack of promptness and expecting to somehow get in the chair. Today he wasn’t talking about me, thankfully. I was praised for making it on time, even with all the MTA construction and delays. But that was a sidebar to a deeper conversation already in progress. We dapped and I sat quietly as he finished shaving his customer. CNN was playing on the black mirror and years of pain were trying to be digested.
My barber carries a certain passion about him that I fully respect– and challenges all those who enter the shop in areas of: health & fitness, spirituality, and opinions on sports on a good day. I appreciate that I can hear truth bounced off the walls and often times within myself. Today there was hope for the usual outside-the-box thoughts on a silver platter.
The rundown of irresponsible tweets, protesters for hire, rich white America’s breakaway, and reverting to a time before this was served. The sickness caused by operating in fear and losing sight of what we cando is like drinking poison because we’re thirsty. This country never ceased from making a mess. There was a time where we responded– not by caving in to the “powers that be” but even more so depending on the power of “we”.
The law of motion states that for every action there’s an equal and opposite action. We’ve been divided in our homes and communities for decades. How have we dealt with that pain lately?
What steps do we need to take to heal?
Where can we create more balance in our lives?
What solutions can we come up with to help each other?
How do we personally respond to racism in America?
What past strategies / tactics have been effective in addressing racial issues and how can we improve on it?
How do we further organize social media campaigns and make sure those lost are seen and never forgotten?
My barber left me with the thought that women have the power and are the solution to all of it. In between my next haircut I hope some of these questions and that statement can be more thought out.
I ask you: What action will you take and how will it ultimately serve humanity for the better?
staycation vs. vacation – what would be the better remedy for days of r&r?
new photographs vs. old poetry
housekeeping vs. house cleaning
fancy restaurant vs. favorite take-out spot
new locals vs. old friends
spending paycheck vs. stretching paycheck
booking a flight with my new bag and come back with souvenirs
looking like the man
(1800 flyer miles)
staying at home with my new bag of books from Strand
(18 New Yorker miles)
hint:black budgets matter. music makes it better. spend time on experiences you’ll remember.
Water– a significant part of our lives; mostly makes us up; there’s not a place on Earth that has life without it.
Dehydration– to let other things in our lives consume us and misuse us.
Ignoring the truthabout water is to becomedelusional and will leave you feeling deserted- bringing you back to the the harsh reality that you NEED it to survive.
You heard right– water gives us life.
Being like water REALLY meant to be so much more– appreciate life, and learn to love what it has in store! Be thankful for it everyday. It bears gifts– true presents on Earth. A being, a presence, a large mass–
Was Einstein getting rich? Did he die trying or was he lying about: energy? the speed of light? Was it a mask? What was in his flask?
What is OUR task?
So I leave you with these questions for reflection:
What ingredients are in your water, your Gatorade, your thirst quencher?
If you listen to the speech above you may gather that MLK’s blueprint for empowerment hasn’t exactly seen itself through yet. Over 50 years later, and we’re still witnessing our people die at the hands of violence, starvation, illness and drug abuse. The question is: are we delusional to the point of believing that all we can do is wait for someone to come along and change the way things are? With this type of mentality, distractions are constantly allowed to get in the way of movement– doing nothing to hold this country or ourselves accountable.
Circumstances can make it feel like it’s a struggle just to make it through the day because money is valued more than our own dreams– failing to realize that we are getting in the way of ourselves. Black vs. White looks like the main event on the surface but we’ve been battling internally for a while now and this cycle of pain continues. We have to remember to be responsible for our own actions.
We should be looking to do what we can not only to better ourselves but also our community. Becoming educated is fine and dandy, but what good is it if we don’t find a way to strategize together? Now let me ask: Is tweeting about our issues making any advances? Is marching to the end of the world stopping our daily struggle? Sure we’re notgoing to remain quiet about all the heinous things that happen in the world. But we have to be honest– we’re stuck in an old way of thinking and until we figure out a new method of fighting, the quicksand will keep swallowing us.
Continuing to make the wrong moves also has to stop. For example, we know that crime is a business to make the rich richer and keep those in prison without the means to be creative, right? But how many people do we know that are locked up right now (not because of the powers that be but) for something stupid that could’ve been prevented? It’s also time to start changing the way we think about each other– because most of the time we’re just holding petty grudges. We have to come together for the greater good. Until there are communities continuously and whole-heartedly working together, there can’t be any movement. We also have to stop the drum major instinct. Once we figure that out, we will be ready to strategize.
Even though there is a lot of work ahead, don’t be afraid to dream like Dr. King– standing behind a purpose to see humanity in harmony. He didn’t have a holiday or boulevard in mind for all the hard work and effort he put into bringing people together for the cause. But if we continue to fight to keep our dreams alive, we’ll go further than we’ve ever gone– and surely that’s worth more than any dollar amount in a bank account. My dream today is for people to grow personally and build as a community, what’s yours?
In the clip below, Yasiin sounds off on tragedies, puppetmasters, the media, social justice & more. He points out that we take for granted our opportunity to live in harmony as humans– often buying into distractions and not realizing that we’re losing our basic freedoms on a daily basis. It’s our responsibility to love each other better. Nuff said.
Our comfort zone is not something we just walk out of– it doesn’t happen overnight but rather through the practice of taking small steps over time. Often we resist leaving what we know which blocks the leap into an area of vulnerability. Our minds tend to tune in to what fear has to say and it is a challenge to overcome that behavior. Being afraid of vulnerability might come from not wanting to reveal who we truly are to the world or more importantly to ourselves.
Eventually we have to face our fears– it is life’s inevitability. Recently I have been trying to conquer a fear of standing on my head. As silly as it may sound, I haven’t put much effort into it since childhood. The more I let fear sit within me, the less likely the chance of me accomplishing the goal. The small steps of practicing yoga, meditation, and healthy eating habits have made it easier for me to be more comfortable within my skin.
Through research, I’ve come across multiple sources that have listed benefits of what I was trying to do. I’ve put it into practice as much as possible and when I tried today something remarkable happened! Even though I didn’t make it all the way, I realized that because I was creating the tension, my body would only allow me to go so far. The lesson learned here is that we can let unnecessary tension go by not inflicting it upon ourselves in the first place. We’re not always going to be in a comfortable environment, but the more we relax, the more receptive we can be.
Growing confident within myself
I realized anything’s possible with God’s help.
I really want to stress the importance of getting into practice mode. If you’re afraid of speaking in front of a large group, start by practicing in the mirror, in front of friends, small groups, etc. until you get to the point where you’ve exceeded the goal. There will be times when you feel like you’re getting nowhere or that you’re not digging deep enough. But by continuing to practice leaving your comfort zone, a confidence will grow from within. When you finally step into where the magic happens, you will realize that anything is possible.
Two weeks from now I’ll be putting on my cap and gown. I cringe everytime the word congratulations is thrown at me because there’s a cliffhanger of uncertainty about the rest of my life. Somehow I don’t feel like How To Make It In America prepared me enough for what’s to come (sidebar: a movie or third season would be clutch Mark Wahlberg).
It’s getting closer to that time for me to encounter to a harsher reality. I can vividly remember reading a rather delightful article on the joys of student loans a while back, which life has given me a crash course on already. Being a Brooklynite, I already know struggle is real(er) in NY when I move back.
The beauty of all this is being able to laugh at these situations before they actually hit me. I randomly checked out a web series called Clench & Release in which comedian and all-around good dude Kevin Iso has a cameo. It couldn’t paint a better picture of the life I will have to get used to.
The series follows Charla Lauriston’s woes of being a struggling stand-up comedian. Her encounters are everything from a homeless guy offering her cocaine to a man masturbating on a subway platform, which is NYC at its best. I let out a sigh of relief thinking I won’t be alone riding out my twenties being broke and wanting to find love (& messing it all up in the process). It was refreshing because I haven’t been entertained by a YouTube series since Awkward Black Girl went on hiatus. C&R was a good segue.
Being in your 30s is clarity. The 20s is confusion, sex, confusion, booze, drugs, more sex, bad decisions, good decisions, more confusion
Since I’m climbing out the small window from my age to 30, there’s a lot of pressure not to mess up anything else. So until I take my flight back home in the summer, I’ll enjoy the last hours spent sitting through pointless lectures, procrastinating homework, and getting to boogie by myself– because even though I’ve grasped many lessons, I fathom this is just the beginning. *cues MGMT*