If I Could Be Any Animal Right Now I’d Be A Bird

If I could be any animal right now, in this moment at 8:47pm, in Brooklyn, NY on September 23, 2018.. I’d be a bird. A bird whose ability to fly long distance will allow her to just go, for hours and hours on end.

I want to get away for a little, I want to retreat into the most hidden forestry parts of the world and perch myself on the limbs of a dozen century old tree and meditate. I want to be alone with my thoughts in the middle of nature. I need a re-nourishment of some sorts — whatever the Universe sees fit to bring me back to peace with myself, I need it.

If I could be any animal right now, I’d be a bird. I’d fly to the top of a high rise building in New York City and star gaze for hours and hours on end. I’d converse with the Universe about what’s been going on and the feelings I’ve been feeling inside for some time now. I’d converse with the Universe about how it’s been hard to deal with some unclaimed baggage; not sure how to really release, but it’s just been heavy.

I’ve been pushing myself to celebrate and pour Love by the gallons into others, but have been forgetting to maintain a healthy amount for my Self. I haven’t been giving back to my Self and it’s been showing. Not to others, but to myself. I can even feel it.

I’ve been so happy and sad at the same time. Can that be a thing? Can someone be happy and sad at the same time? How can it feel as so when I’ve been surrounded by amazing people these past couple of weeks? It’s like when I step foot inside, it starts to dawn on me that I have things that still need figuring out and I go into high stress mode. Just the thought of dealing with unclaimed baggage, thrusts me into a whirlwind of emotions and feelings.

I feel things so damn deeply and it’s such a blessing and a curse at the same time. No feeling goes unnoticed, no emotion goes unnoticed.

A chance to just let it go without any consequences or feelings of irresponsibility. If I could be any animal right now in this moment, I’d be a bird.

Fly, bird. 

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Feels Like Summer

I don’t usually pay attention to new music nor the most recent music releases from Childish Gambino, but I’m feeling different about this jam Feels Like Summer. For the past couple of days I’ve been constantly hitting play and replay for this song. Something about the acoustics and vibe has me feeling really calm and reflective about this summer. It truly has that end-of-summer-shit-where-did-it-go-don’t-go type energy connected to it — at least that’s how I feel.

There were many things that went right this summer, and there were many things that went a little left from how I envisioned it happening. A lot of disconnections and new connections with people from all over my social sphere. Moving into my new apartment in Brooklyn has been freshening and starting school has been a dramatic joy-ride so far to say the least. I’m at a place now where I’m kind of just sitting here thinking, okay I am where I am now under the circumstances that I did not create so let me just continue to work hard and make the best of what I’ve got. The universe has blessed me in so many areas of my life and I can only be grateful that each experience has only added more depth to my journey of being and [be]coming.

It’s always with the transitions of the seasons that I feel things more deeply and in the middle of connecting the dots between my past, present and future. I know I’m a proponent of the living in the now and being with the present moment fully, but with the way the past has informed my present situation now — I’m only more curious and slightly excited to see what’s on its way to me.

I’ve immersed myself in so many new spaces these past couple of weeks as well. This new romantic space, however, still has me shook. Can’t believe I’m in this again taking on the responsibilities that I wasn’t really expected to meet myself with again any time soon. Honestly, I figured ah, why the hell not. Shit. If it works out, great, if it doesn’t I’m glad I took a chance on someone who at the time made me feel very special. We’re still in it, by the way, but I noticed I’ve had a change of heart regarding romance since coming out of Love with a former significant other. I still (and will always) have much love for the kid, but a sis has got to try her hardest to keep it moving if things are no longer serving a positive purpose at the time being. Last thing I needed was to fall back into old habits and cycles. Boy, did I Love that boy. I wish nothing but blessings and pure joy+peace+happiness+Love for him — the one he’s looking for. 

I do have one request though for the universe. Please stop making me run into former subjects of the past whether it be places, people and things I willingly let go of — that stuff can be triggering. I don’t know, are you trying to tell me something? If you are, I’m going to need more signs for it to be clearer because a sis is genuinely confused. Help me out here. Still thankful, though.

Yo. School? This Masters program? This TA position? This constant surrounding of amazing film and photography icons and scholars? Wow. I love it. I love you, Life. 

What I Want In A Partner

I don’t know if you know, but you speak so much about wanting to have me as a ‘girlfriend’ and it seems like you don’t have a clear understanding of what I want as I seek to purse a Life partner.

I want a partner that understands the concept of having a life view. How do you see the world? The people in it? What interests you in life? What are your thoughts about life as a whole and the medium of time?

I want a partner that can settle his ego to engage in a deep conversation about worldly shit, uncomfortable shit, societal shit.. without having to be up in arms and ready to blow when he’s not met with the same views. I don’t know everything and I don’t think you do either so let’s put our learnings together and talk about the whys and hows. Let’s discover together.

I want a partner that understands space, vibe and energy. Awareness. Are you aware of the energy you bring to a space? If not, are you open to learning about how to detoxify a space filled with negative energy and vibes? You seem to have a lot on your heart, but want to let it consume you and infiltrate the space I’m trying to build with you.. If I’m trying to be conscious of it, I would hope you’d be open to it, too. Help me help you — it’s a partnership, let me meet you at a point where it’s most conducive for it to be mutually fulfilling for both of us.

I want a partner that’s observant and detail-oriented. Read into me. What can you tell me about me that’s not readily observable by the passing eye? Can you dig deeper than the facets of me that are purely observable by the passing eye? Do you have patience to take things in, decipher its meaning and have realizations about it all? It’s the little things that matter to me.

I want a partner that has the courage to be a student with me in this beautiful thing called Life. I want to learn with you, grow with you, dissect concepts and lessons, build with you, fail with you, win with you, the list goes on. I don’t want someone who deems himself as perfect — it’s not about perfection. It never was and it will never be about being a faultless human.

I want a partner that can situate themselves in the larger context of Life. It’s not only about you, you’re part of something bigger than you. And, You are a contributing member of that something. What are your contributions? Are they positive? The way you move, bring life to words and language, create..are all imperative. It means a lot to me to know I’m in a partnership with someone who cares about things I’m deeply passionate about (like basic human rights); and at minimum something other than themselves. I spend a lot of time thinking about race — that’s just me.

I want a partner who can be courageous in the face of Love. Who is open to learning about unconditional love, diving and exploring the depths of love, being in Love’s control. Love is powerful and if used correctly it can completely transform people, moments, experiences, lifetimes etc. Are you willing to explore that with me? It isn’t the easiest concept to grasp and handle, but it’s definitely possible to get a great grip on journeying through it.

I don’t think I ask for a lot in relationships (especially romantic ones). I’m pretty simple. I just want a partner who is understanding, awakened to Life things, willing to explore, open to love and able to meet me with reciprocity. I want someone who is willing to go the distance for me, because I know I will do what I can, when I can, where I can to do the same.

I didn’t think I was open to the idea of meeting Love again at this point of time, but the more I think about it — what’s a better time than Now/the present/the immediate.

I’m open. I’m ready to meet a New Love. Experience a New Vibe. Build with a Special Someone. Create a New Energy. 

Life, Thank You

I can’t help but come to love the moments that just make me ‘click’ from time to time. I get so frustrated with my past and present challenges that I end up settling into longer periods of disappointment with myself; and, honestly it’s crazy because let there just be one reminder or situation that shows me the reality of how beautiful living life is and I’m hooked all over again.

I really don’t mean to throw myself into cyclic spirals of downtrodden emotions and highs of happiness, but I just do sometimes. So, I just watched this movie that helped things ‘click’ for me again. It mainly paralleled some of my crazy international charades in Thailand and brought me back to a time when I was literally living in the present moment. A feeling of happiness and gratitude filled me from head to toe, finger to finger and out came a smile I’m all too familiar with. And, on top of that I started to think about these last couple of days I spent getting to know some new souls from this Fil-Am organization and I got even happier. I felt such a great surge of gratitude that I felt I owed it to myself, my emotional space and the Universe to sit and write down a new list of things I am grateful for.

  1. Thank you for my new Kasamas in the GAB and ABNY family. I am so grateful to have met them at such a pivotal moment in my life. Almost 23 and en route to begin a new age year chapter.
  2. I’m grateful for the times I spent abroad that serve as daily reminders to give to Life as much it has given me in the past couple of months.
  3. I’m grateful to still have my beautiful parents with me.
  4. I’m grateful for the friendships that have endured over the past decade through life altering instances — we’re older now, with different dreams, goals & objectives but I’m lucky to still have them near me.
  5. I’m grateful for my health, to be free of debilitating issues and in the state of trying to regain my discipline to be Vegan.
  6. I’m grateful for the artists whose music has played a key role in keeping me grounded.
  7. I’m grateful for this opportunity to move to Harlem with a fellow Afro-Pinay kasama later this summer. Praying hard that it all works out and I don’t have to move in with a random stranger before starting school.
  8. Speaking of school. My Masters Program. At NYU. With my dope advisor. I’m eternally grateful to be continuing my education and studying everything I want to study in the town I grew up in .
  9. I’m grateful for my growing knowledge of the world.
  10. I’m grateful to be here, living at this present moment, feeling all of these emotions during the same time as many other amazing souls that have poured only Love over the years.
  11. I’m grateful to be optimistic about meeting a new Soul to share my Love with — a romantic Love that carries me away like I’ve never been carried before.
  12. I’m grateful for the realization that all though I’ve loved many before, Love transforms and it’s okay to not to feel the same way as I once did.
  13. AND, I’m grateful to be coming out of this little blue era that has colored Life before me with all of these dull and cool tones. I’on want it; I am deserving of a happier times and moments.
  14. Grateful af to be journeying. 

Finding The Sun

It’s been a while. 

I don’t know what it is about 2018, but we’re halfway through and things have been seeming a little anticlimactic. I’ve been thinking a lot lately have been forgetting to release.. so here goes. 

Being almost 23 with nothing really exciting going on is hard. Finding a job post-graduation is hard. Trying to foster genuine connections with people after a love lost is hard. Attempting to start your own business is hard. Trying to prove yourself on a simple piece of paper is hard. Having to work hard for no pay when you’re trying to save for something is hard. — Maybe all of ‘it’ isn’t hard per say, but rather challenging when you know you have so much more to offer to the world having only the opportunity (or opportunities) to prove so.

But is it really the opportunities I’m looking for? I’m mean sure, it would be great to spend more time outside of the house doing what I love to do most — taking photos, and making good money from doing so, but I can’t seem to get over the fact that my stubbornness has been fighting with the obvious. I think my vibrations are low and that’s why things have been a little funky. And, why do I believe that? Because I’ve been here before. I remember this feeling of feeling down and out, but you would think I remember how to get out of it. Out of this seemingly dark positioning but all of my former tactics are not working this time around.

What’s even more ironic is that not only have I been here before, but the reason as to how and why is pretty much the same. Love lost (again). How many times can one experience tiny tears in a heart in one year, with the same person. That shit sucks. 

I’ve noticed that my subsiding emotions and feelings have slowly and surely been uncovering themselves with the growth of time. The complete opposite effect of what I would’ve hope to happen after committing to letting go. Why is it so challenging to let go when you want to let go — is it my pride? My ego? Fears? Uncertainty of the future? Unrealistic hopes? Maybe all combined.

What I do know is that not only has it been deeply affecting me, but I could see myself and my interactions with people change. Maybe its cynicism? Maybe it’s me being a realist? Or maybe it’s just me acting out of anger and fear.

But then I realized. Yes, I am angry. 

I’m angry I let him… let me down again. I’m angry my vulnerability and sensitive well-being was taken for granted by him. I’m upset that an involvement with another girl ultimately affected me when all I wanted was not to be involved (after sharing my complete understanding of his situation). I’m hurt that he couldn’t find the courage to be honest with me after knowing me for so many years. I’m hurt that my character was still questioned. I’m hurt that it had to end once again, in such an unfortunate manner. I’m hurt that my heart is still healing, and I’m frustrated that I can’t even engage with other guys the way I want to because I’m still growing through this healing.

I’m so closed for all things emotional, spiritual and physical maintenance that I know opening up again to someone new will be (for lack of a better word) a challenge.

But, I guess that’s what makes it worth it? Being able to sit with myself the way I am now to locate the sources of my frustrations and self-inflicted pain. Why have I ever doubted that good things and events will not follow from a setback — I’m not one to settle nor one to be a pessimist. A setback that; in the grand scheme of things, is one of many that I guess I will run into when playing the game of Love. I want to heal. I want to move on and close this chapter for good.

You see. It was more than the last ‘last’ encounter that I had with my former Love. It was everything that we had went through in the past four years, together or not. It was the way we rekindled after hurting one another time and time again. It was the platter of expectations, hopes and promises we served each other in an effort to secure the future once and for all. We took it for granted. You took me for granted (again) and because of that I hurt more than ever now that I ever have. I hurt for reasons that could’ve been avoided had you took responsibility for your actions; had you had the courage to be transparent like I had been with you. Why was it so hard for you to try, attempt, take a risk to be outside of your comfort zone and speak up.

‘Til this day, I think about all of it. The day I introduced my Self to a new love, the day I wanted out, the day I apologized for being unkind to love, the day I forgave my Self for taking love for granted, the day I ran back into love’s arms and the day I found out there was no love to return to. 

And so, I think coming to terms with how this long up and down journey has left me has been starting mini-fires in my soul whenever I feel riled up for any situation that frustrates me.

I’m hoping writing it out and finally releasing this most recent situation will remedy my uneasiness, my growing pains, my lack of strength to look in another direction.

 I did it before, I know I can do it again. I’m just out here, taking it day by day.. learning more about my Self as I bloom where I’ve been planted, just trying to find the Sun. 

Gotta promise myself, no more being sad but rather thankful and hopeful for what’s to come this new upcoming age year. Sis about to be 23, free and a Boss-to Be (lol corny I know but it wouldn’t be Liz if I hadn’t ended on that)

Surrendering To The Now

One of things I miss about living abroad now that I’m back home in the states, is the realization of the temporariness of people, places, thoughts, life events, emotions and feelings. When I was abroad, things would change so quickly every day that my expectations of what I thought was coming the next day were extremely low. I had no expectations because I never knew what or who could enter my life, just in passing.

Time felt still. Disconnection was an art of living, and living was synonymous with going with the flow – whatever that might have meant for that day or hour.

Except here, back in the states, I feel like I’ve forgotten what it was like to live in the hour. Sunsets and Sun risings don’t quite look the same as they did on the horizon of the ocean’s water. I just follow the light that reflects off of buildings from a distance, and watch it as it casts a rotating shadow throughout the day.

At the same time, I’ve also seemed to have forgotten what it was like to just let things and people come and go. Since I’ve been back, I’ve been holding on more than usual. I caught myself the other day doing it, however, that was just one time in a small number of instances that I’ve snapped back into reality.

I want to get back to that. I don’t want to hold on, for holding on is way too damn exhausting. The energy it takes to overtake the natural forces of life is a lot. And, I’m writing about it because I want to get back to being in dialogue with my Self and thoughts. I want to make a conscious effort to remember and hold my Self accountable for my internal growth and creating healthy habits to ensure my inner oasis remains overflowing with love, light, joy and peace. And, I can’t do that if I’m not allowing things to just be.

Moments constantly come and go. These past couple of weeks have also reminded me that sometimes things will not always pan out the way you have it set up in your mind or dreams, but rather in ways that you will either be prepared or unprepared for — and thats okay. Literally, it’s okay. Things will be okay if they don’t pan out the way you would’ve hoped them to.

If the universe has it planned for you, and meets you with the same energy you put out there, there will be another present moment. Another human to connect with. Another opportunity to submit to the joy of life.

This is me, acknowledging the beauty of life’s temporariness and the inevitable opportunities that follow which allow us to change the way we choose to navigate each beautiful present moment. I want to surrender so that what ever I harbor internally will not spill out and negatively impact someone else’s vibe or energy.

I want to be a forcefield of unconditional love, not a gatekeeper of negative shit. We don’t have time for that.

*waves white flag* Life you got it. But anyway, thank you universe for blessing me thus far with the courage to dust myself off, chuckle at the mistakes, and keep going – like the boss I am.

Love you, Liz. You’re doing just fine. 

 

 

10 Things That Make Me Really Happy

Okay, so I thought I was going to head to bed, but clearly I lied to myself once again. I decided that I wanted to try a 30 Day Writing Challenge — yippie *the crowd goes wild.* I went on Google, and found one that was floating around on pinterest, and if you haven’t guessed it by now, the title is the first prompt.

Here goes nothing. 

“10 Things That Make Me Really Happy.” 

Number one. The gathering of colored folk. There is so much to be shared, relived and connected with during those times when people of color decide to be in the same space for a period of time just hanging out.

Number two. Plant based; re: vegan, entrees. Vegan meals, and when I say meals I mean whole feasts, make me very excited. I find the experiences I have with my vegan entrees very enticing and erotic. Something about consuming earth food and rejuvenating my body with a plethora of whole foods instantly make me feel amazing.

Number three. Films that follow a non traditional story plot. Disregarding the fact that I am indeed a hopeless romantic and do love a good rom-com from time to time, upload a good refreshing story on my social feed and I will love you forever. Show me a world we don’t often times consume ourselves in. Take me through the journey of a fresh HBCU grad who went on to continue school studying Speech pathology and having to overcome the challenges of navigating a privileged and overly politicized space.

Number four. Green tea with soy or almond milk. And if I’m feeling rebellious, a hint of maple syrup. Need I say more?

Number five. Street photography. Point me to the nearest busiest corner in the middle of mid-town foot traffic and I will people watch and capture for hours on end. Can I freeze you in time? I promise you’ll like the end result. You as you were on your way, to where? I probably will never know that detail, but what I do know is that we were so fortunate to cross paths.

Number six. Finishing a workout. Nothing feels better than telling myself I will work out that day and actually pushing through and finishing with a big ole sweaty t-shirt or sweater. In that moment, I’m a boss betch and no one could kill my vibe for the next couple of hours.

Number seven. Knowing that only at the age of 22 I’ve watched several of my first adulthood dreams come true. At 21, I worked at Universal Studies in Los Angeles and at 22, I worked at one of my top travel destinations for 6 months — Thailand. Wow. Just wow, I will put it into the universe that I will keep going and living a life truest to what makes me happy, my purpose and brings me joy.

Number eight. Seeing random pictures of closest friends and family. I can sit and stare at pictures and challenge myself to daydream back into that very moment for days at a time. Good times should always be cherished.

Number nine. My interesting mix of Neo-Soul, Afro Beats, R&B, Trap, Bachata, and Oldies music playlist. Each playlist accurately depicts all of my moods and how I may be feeling that day or hour. Either I’m turnt or just vibin’ man.

Number ten. Having a down time to pamper myself while listening to some good jams and basking in the aroma of my favorite scented candles. These are the moments I try to be most present with my Self and thoughts. And at this time, I may be munching on a yummy bowl of fruits or vegan schnacks. Yes schnacks.

 

The Cookie House

Today, I found myself reminiscing about an old favorite past time I used to have when my mom and I lived together in Brooklyn, New York.

Circa early 2000s. I had been picked up early from after school activities at my Catholic elementary school and my mom had pre-planned an after school date to our favorite neighborhood spot to wander — Kings Plaza mall. KP before it was called KP. KP before all of its glorious renovations. KP before H&M. KP when The Cookie House was still its main attraction; well, at least that’s what my mom and I thought. We loved passing by The Cookie House and treating ourselves to an afternoon indulging session as we immersed all of our senses in a delectable assortment of freshly baked cookies.

I used to enjoy watching the bakers prep and sit the slowly melting cookies on display for all to see and salivate over. This is random, but I also remember the half candy/half peanut/ everything else sweet shop, next door. However, it was never as exciting to visit as the infamous Cookie House. I’d stand there in my uniform waiting for the cashier lady to hand over the small white bag of cookies my mom and I carefully picked out that  afternoon.

I remember the good ole days. When life was a little bit more simple. Not saying that it’s not simple now, but just a bit more relaxed. But, I won’t neglect to mention I was half the age I am now so clearly there was an advantage of being young and still a little birdie in her nest. 

I feel like there’s something about new experiences and periods of isolation that trigger nostalgic episodes of deep reminiscing. Well, I’ll say, at least for me. Sometimes when I find myself tuning out, the memories overtake me and I feel like I’m back in that specific space at that specific time.

Oh, how I love a good memory. 

Today I set a new goal for myself. Due to my old soul nature and fascination with past times, I have decided (actually at this very moment) that I will make a film about a young Black girl in her late teens growing up in a past time period (still deciding which decade). It sounds extremely basic right now, but once I get my thoughts together I’ll be sure to sift out the good details and map it out in due fashion. 

Anyway, I just finished watching ‘Mona Lisa Smile’ and it inspired me to write before I went to bed tonight. I don’t have much else to say, but I will say just a few more things to end the night with even better vibes.

~

I’m very thankful. 

I am thankful to have made to and from work safely today. 

I am thankful to have good health. 

I am thankful for my family. 

I am thankful for my sister friends and friends. 

I am thankful for all of the visual/moving image artists whose work has inspired me to imagine new stories for my ever-growing “One day I will produce this” vision board. 

Thank you Uni and greater One. 

xo liz 

And Just Like That, It Became A New Year

Time flies.

Lately, I’ve been feeling like I’ve been on Autopilot. I let my Self go. I lost sight of what really mattered the most and checked-out. I wanted so bad to be the perfect holistic healing, plant based, free-spirited, unbothered and untethered soul, but didn’t realize I had another thing coming for me. And, things just don’t work that way; especially when it comes to emitting the frequencies and energy needed to obtain that goal.

Like attracts like, and I’ve been counterproductive to that cause. I became what I abhor the most, and that was the least greatest version of myself. 

Living here in Thailand, in a state of being constantly uncomfortable has truly tested me. It was during the most quiet hours I found myself having heated and regretful inner-dialogues with my Self. Day after day, night after night, I filled my head space with negative thoughts about myself, my present condition and others around me. I turned to social media, Netflix, and food as escape therapies. I turned away from what I knew were essential in keeping my foundation strong and healthy — writing, photography, music, exploration and whole foods.

Many moons went by and the next thing I know, I was standing in the middle of a unfamiliar crowd on Koh Phangan’s most infamous Beach for New Year in Thailand, chanting “Five…four… three…two…one…Happy New Year.”  Far from sober, I looked around and realized I had missed out on an opportunity to bring in the New Year with my Greatest Self. I was unaware and completely thrown off by the reality that just in the blink of an eye, it became a new year.

And, while I did not return to one of my greatest spaces to find solace to continue in the process of criticizing my Self.. I wanted to recognize one of the pivotal moments in my more recent months of Living where I realized I had slipped from Who and What I knew to be my greatest strengths.

It took a couple of weeks, but dammit – I’m back. And, I think what did it the most for me (above all other instances where I began to regain my senses of awareness and clarity) were the realizations I almost left the Earth after a frightening motor bike fall, I was at my highest weight (close to 200 lbs) and I had been living on the sidelines, disengaged, and stuck in an Self-deprecating space I had unconsciously created — all, while I was still living in one of the most beautiful countries in the world.. an experience I had dreamed into reality.

“I Gotta Find Peace of Mind,” I told myself. Back to the journey I began early 2017. Back to the Self I know was still there with me all along. Back to starting my mornings with healthy routines. Back to letting go of what isn’t self serving and allowing it to pass. Back to healthy inner dialogues with my Self and reminding my Self that I am all of my strengths. Back to positive affirmations and vibrations.

Back to the present moment with a present mind. 

I love you Self. You are one of a kind. This life is yours and everything you want it to be. 

Breathing in, I calm my body. Breathing out, I smile. Dwelling in the present moment, I know this to be a wonderful moment. TNH

A Needed Sunday Check-In

It’s a lovely Sunday afternoon in Phuket, Thailand, and I’m sitting in a near-empty Starbucks trying to figure out these waves of emotions I’ve been feeling lately. I know for sure I should be outside with the passing foreigners either browsing through one of the busiest streets in Patong, or making my way to the beach (only a couple of feet away), but I’m not really feeling the urge to do so.

It’s been a little over three weeks since I’ve packed all of my stuff into three humungous suitcases and boarded a one-way flight to Thailand for my journey of living and teaching abroad. It hasn’t been the easiest adjustment, but I would say having met so many new beautiful souls has made it all the more a little easier transitioning in this adjustment period.

I’ve been wanting to check-in since my last blog post, but for some reason I haven’t been able to find the right (as if there were any) words to express my feelings and sentiments of these new new worldly experiences. As I sit in Starbuck’s familiar atmosphere listening to a good mix of Hip Hop and Soul, watching travelers come and go, I’m once again reminded that everything in this life is temporary and many times it’s so important to check-in with myself and document these life experiences – not only in hopes of providing some mental clarity, but to also restore some inner peace. Also, I’ve been met with some challenging times as a result of being immersed in a new country with new faces, bodies and minds, and I think it’s time to lay some of these frustrations to rest on my online journal.

Before I start, I have to mention that my new life abroad has been nothing short of an amazing experience (despite moments of culture shock and feeling very lonely and uncomfortable). Many Thais have made me feel so welcomed and warm as a ‘Farang’ (Thai for foreigner), and have been very open to me trying to learn and immerse myself in their wonderful country. I mean, there are occasional moments when I become a little frustrated because of inevitable miscommunication due to language barriers, and being on the receiving end of ‘bitter-business-moments,’ but for the most part I’ve been enjoying my stay here.

Also, I’m so lucky to have the opportunity to begin this journey with another set of folks that are equally as passionate about learning about others and participating in a necessary exchange of cultural values. Shoutout to one of my new (and woke) friend’s Danny. 

No one person, place, space, land or country is perfect in and of itself. There are things about each one that make it easy to love or easy to have some indifferent feelings toward it – and of course, it’s all subjective depending on an observing persons’ point of view. When talking about communities and other cultures around the world, it’s merely the physical that make them challenging to understand in terms of their way of living, but rather the people that are equally curators of these social values and collective communal psychologies.

I’ve been introduced to numerous forms of culture shock throughout my 22 young years of living, but being a rookie-expat in Thailand has made me even more sensitive to these occurrences. I just don’t think it’ll be something I can get used to (tolerable, sure..maybe but it’s definitely hard).

While I was out with a friend and a couple of her friends last night (on top of other nights this past week), I tolerated all forms of micro-aggressions that I vowed to myself while at my HBCU, that I would never again tolerate outside of the comfy gates of Spelman. However, I’ve grown to learn that there is indeed a time and place, as well as a better opportunity to learn from being observant, critical and strategic.

I’m just not keen to people hapharzardly exercising their privileges to express themselves; as well as their learned racist behaviors, and using social settings to justify their actions. Because we’re out at a bar having a good time, please don’t think it’s okay (along with your close friend) to rub, grab and pet my hair as if I one, gave you permission to do so, and two, openly expressed my wanting of you to explore your unwarranted and unexplored self-pleasures on my body. The nerve of some people to think it’s okay at any given moment to bypass others’ authorization and enter their personal space. (whew, needed to get that out). 

& to think, after years of shouting into microphones and constantly revisiting the words of the most impactful and powerful Black feminist ever known to the human world, I sat there.. soul crying, morals compromised, physically and spiritually violated, hiding behind one of the hardest smiles I’ve ever had to conjure. 

While this was only one of the recent troublesome interactions I’ve had with none PoC, my spiritual, emotional and physical well-being just keep taking blows – and I haven’t yet found a healthy way to deal with my frustrations.

Maybe it’s just time to get back to writing.. 

Not to mention, these eye and ear sores that I keep having to endure while being immersed in the country’s tourist culture. From the population of tourist that come to take part in the ever-demanding economy of sex tourism, to people approaching me to take part in it as well as a supplier of services, to people subconsciously meddling heavy with cultural appropriation (please sis, take those braids out for goodness’ sake), to being interacted with as the “token black girl who’s familiar with all things black,” to almost everything else that I’ve learned about in school in regards to the oppressive nature of a far-reaching system.

Greater one, help us all. 

**

Honestly, I’ve just been thinking about how I (now more than ever) need to complete my Graduate school application as soon as possible, so that I continue my education and explore more efficient and radical ways of altering ways of thinking through my favorite form of communication – through visual culture and creation. I need to continue learning about what I’m experiencing as I try to dissect and become a critical observer of  human connection and manipulation. If I’m going to create content, I’m going to do it being conscious and strategic.

**

Nevertheless, I’m still very very blessed to be here living, teaching and learning in Thailand. These cultural exchanges are truly invaluable and extremely necessary as someone who’s devoting her life to making changes and leaving a legacy of being courageous in her own right and passion in the face of systematic racism. Thinking about the future and the endless possibilities of breaking barriers is the only thing that keeps me going. I know can do it or at least assist in the fight to do so. It’s only right. It’s my purpose.

(it got real, really quick – couldn’t help myself.. I needed something to lift my spirits haha). I’m sure this piece will be revisited. There’s so much more that needs to be explored. But, for now.. 

By the way, I finished the Sister Souljah’s, ‘The Coldest Winter,” in under three days. Two words, Amazing and Transformative. 

Peace + Love.