Swings

I hear the wind blowing in my ears. So forceful though softly brushes against my cheeks. Drowning out the innocent laughter of children around me I can recall the horns of taxis and pedestrian heels treading the pavement. The bell from the church nearby tolls fives times. Reminding me that it’s five p.m. Prepubescent feet swiftly stepping in tireless patterns followed by faint adult voices, as they engage in conversation with one another. And again the wind returns, silencing irrelevant noise, infusing me with serenity. The trees almost speak to me in melody, what it sees.

Tilting my head back, I open my eyes and take in the sky. Clear and blue with only green blocking my view. Between the spaces of the leaves on the trees, I get a full view of the sun without a single cloud in sight. Just the way I like it. Bringing my head back down to the center, the sidewalk is now at eye level. This metal fence in front of me is a barrier between me and strangers of the street. A silver sports car racing stop lights gets pulled over by flashing red and blue lights.

The smell of burnt rubber invades my nostrils. But it fades as I inhale the sweet aroma of Miss Dior, surprisingly after a man in a suit passes by her scent became stronger as if she still lingered on his collar. The closer I get to the trees I notice it rained earlier. The faded  smell of freshly washed leaves had not yet evaporated in the sun. Strollers being pushed on the sidewalk bring an intoxicating yet familiar new baby smell.  As I tilt my head back again, pointing my nose to the sky the aroma of oven baked pizza fills my lungs. To where I can almost taste it.

I never liked chewing gum as much as actually chewing food. It’s almost like a decoy. I can’t swallow it because it’s supposedly bad to do. Such a tease. But the taste is what always get me to come back. The sweet fruity taste of this gum reminds me of a blissful getaway on a tropical island. Which is probably the name of this gum I’ve been chewing for almost two hours. Tropical mango. Go figure, my favorite fruit. This ordinary, orange, rectangle has now become a masticated latex of sapodilla in my oral orifice. I always love the tingly feeling in the back of my jaw that I get at first bite.

I grab the metal chains on both sides of my arms, and pump my feet to get higher. Keeping me above the ground, I adjust my bottom on this rectangular seat, like a toddler rocking in a highchair. This space feels smaller than I remember but I adjust myself  to be comfortable enough. The wind returns but now feels colder and hits me so violently like a snowball to the face. My head still tilted back as I feel invincible. I, who was afraid of heights, am now swinging higher than everyone else. I am not afraid to swing too high, where I feel connected to everything.

Happy Birthday Jackson

HBJIt usually sucks, having your birthday land in the beginning of the school year instead of the summertime. On his 12th birthday Jackson woke up this September morning feeling happy yet somehow incomplete. The smell of freshly made pancakes, which his father had just finished making, wakes him what up from a dream he was having about his mother.

Jackson gets up out of bed and proceeds to get washed up and ready for school.

Running downstairs to sit at the table for breakfast, comes in his dad wearing an apron around his waist and a big smile on his face.

“Gooooood morning birthday boy” says his father while placing a big plate of pancakes with rainbow sprinkles and a candle in the middle, directly in front of him on the table.

“Dad you didn’t have to-”

“Happy Birthday son”, his dad says as he kisses him on the forehead. “Now make a wish”.

Jackson smirks at his dad, then closes his eyes to make a wish as he blows out his candle.

“So how’s it feel to be 12 my man?”

Jackson looks back at his dad with an unbothered look on his face.

“It feels the same” he says nonchalantly

“Oh yea?” says his father as puts the dirty pans in the sink “Not even a little different?”

Eating his breakfast, Jackson looks up and continues.

“I mean…” taking a breath from chewing. “I guess feel a little taller” he says with a mouthful of pancakes.

“AYEE, there we go.” Says his father, “I knew something would feel different. Being twelve is a big deal, it’s a whole new ball game.”

Jackson getting up from the table. “Whatever you say dad” .

Taking Jackson’s empty plate to put it in the sink, glancing over at his son watching him fix his hair into a neat afro, then back to the dishes.

“Trust me” his father says, as he walks over to Jackson. “Your life begins to change at this age, and all for the better”

“Thanks Dad. I sure hope so” says Jackson.

His father hands him his backpack from off the banister of the staircase and watches him throw it over his shoulders at the door and quickly glancing at Jackson’s sparrow shaped birthmark behind his left ear.

“Have a great day son”

“Thanks dad, love you” Jackson says as he opens the door.

“Love you more” says his father, watching him leave the house for school.

As Jackson walks to the bus stop he begins to feel much better knowing he has entered a new chapter in his life where good things are yet to come. Or so his father says. After walking a few more blocks, he finally makes it to the bus stop, but a new thought has now entered his mind. His mother. He wishes his mother was around to see him grow up but Jackson only has a vague memory of her from when he was a baby. The bus finally comes and the thought escapes his mind but still lingers. Sitting near the window, he looks outside and continues to think more about the mother he never really knew. A few minutes pass by and Jackson develops a strange feeling as though someone has been watching him.

He starts looking around, but no one seems to be paying him any attention.

Within a few moments a woman in her mid-thirties approaches him from behind and touches him gently on the shoulder.

Jackson turns around and sees the woman.

“Hello” she says softly.

“Hi” answered Jackson.

“Is today your birthday” asked the woman.

“Uh yeah… How did you know that?” questioned Jackson.

The bus begins to slow down as it approaches the upcoming stop. She begins to gather her things and get up to leave the bus and it comes to a stop.

“You always looked just like your grandfather” she said with a soft voice.

“Wait you knew my grandfather? Hold a sec, who are you?” Trying to analyze her face as they both stare at each other.

The woman, smiles and strokes her thumb against his birthmark. “Don’t worry bout’ me, you’re doing just fine without me” the woman says as she gets up from her seat and walks closer to the bus exit.

“Wait, don’t leave.” Jackson pleaded as he too get up from his seat to stop her.

“Please! Wait miss, how do you know so much about me?” Jackson yells as he rushes off the bus behind her.

The bus drives by, leaving Jackson and the woman standing face to face on the sidewalk.

“Well… I guess now we got time to catch up”

She stretches her hand out for Jackson to hold

Jackson looks around at the empty street then back at the strange woman standing there with her hand out and friendly smile on her face.

He takes her hand and proceeds to walk with her into an alley leading to an almost forgotten part of town.

Purpose

I believe everything starts with a conversation. And the desire to have one.

What do I mean by that? I mean anything and everything. Every topic. Every reason. Every thought, plan and idea. It all starts with a simple conversation, and then the domino effect begins.

Why are you here? Why have you made this decision? What brought you here? Is this really what you should be doing? Are you doing what you love? What exactly are you doing? What are you doing wrong? What are you doing right? Are you doing something? Is there a purpose in what you’re doing? Is there a reason, is there a goal, is there desire? Is there passion? Do you even know what passion is? Do you have passion?

I may be getting away for myself here…

But I am convinced everything starts with an important conversation you have with yourself:

“Do I know I am worthy?”

Then everything, starting with your perspective changes.

And you begin to wonder:

“Maybe everything starts with a question.”

Sunflower Energy.

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A long time ago I took this quiz that told me my personality reflected that of a sunflower. And I don’t even remember what it said but just the fact that sunflowers grow in the direction of facing the sun, really resonated with me. And I feel the warmth from that. That’s why I always gravitate towards them. And them to me. We share the same energy.

Your Path.

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When I tried to force myself into one direction I realized how much I was limiting myself and evidently hurting myself and my journey, by preventing myself from growing into who I am meant to become. And learning lessons I could never appreciate from within my comfort zone.

As much as you would want to follow in someone’s footsteps, you have your own path laid out before you, meant for you to tread.”

I learned that when you try to create a single path for yourself by avoiding other paths, it initially leaves you stagnant. You MUST try in order to stumble, fall and fail. This is how we create momentum which initially molds our path. Then we  rise to our feet and begin stepping into our purpose. Do not forget it was YOUR back that rolled on the dirt. Therefore, you know the ground better than anyone, especially those who claimed to have “been down that road before”, they couldn’t have. It is one path per person  and only you can walk yours.

So why not conquer it?

Remember how the ground felt underneath your back, how it scraped your knees and broke your nail. Now feel it beneath your feet, squeeze it in your hand, between your toes and welcome it. Take in a deep breath of this new unfamiliar territory, and claim it. Pave the way with your unique rhythm made by your own footprints and failures and worry not when the path will end. For continuing your journey is what matters. So the next time you fall, and you will, allow yourself to feel the warmth from your soul within, and let it ignite your fire to thrive. Breathe in and allow the wind of the universe to blow the dirt off your shoulders. Dust yourself off. And with the strength to do it all again, slowly
breathe out
and
keep going.

Hopeful Writer

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I love words.

But the word, writer…

Gives me THE most anxiety.

It doesn’t feel like I deserve the title because I don’t do it justice everyday. Or maybe not the justice I believe it deserves, in terms of quantity. Its funny, for a person who values quality so much, I sure do base a lot of things on quantity. I’m pretty much a hypocrite who isn’t afraid to admit it but is afraid to be called out on it. Just like anyone else would. So I hide and I write, feeling like a fraud for telling people I’m a writer whenever they ask “so what do you do”. I lie to myself as I lie to them because I am my greatest critic. As I tell myself  to “always do better than I know I can”. Which I know can be very inhibiting and kind of self sabotaging, but I still do it anyways.

What can I say I’m a work in progress. Even though I subconsciously know no other way to treat myself because I’ve always been treated this way by people who claimed they loved me but didn’t really mean it. [WOW tangent] But how was I supposed to know the difference. This is the part where my therapist would ask me “well what do you mean by that”. Well thats the problem, I don’t know. And now this is the part where my best friend would annoyingly affirm “yes you do”. But the one thing I do know is that I’m old enough to decipher whether or not someone genuinely cares about me. However, I often confuse it with instant gratification, selfishness and egocentricity.

So it’s safe to say I’m never 100% certain when it comes to other peoples true intentions. I know few people I used to call “friend” or even family who fooled me into believing their deceitful agenda against my own better judgement. But I guess it’s hope that makes us foolish, especially if there is recurring proof of the matter. I guess my therapist was right, I am good at dancing around the real problem at hand. Although I still can’t tell the difference between love and lies. I’m always hoping that I’ll be wrong, even when I know I’m right about someone. Trusting my gut is a skill I haven’t yet mastered. Just for the simple pleasure of hoping the world isn’t as dark as we paint it to be.

That; whenever the sun has “turned its back” on us, it’s still shinning brightly somewhere else.

-Peace till my next blog ✌🏾

Ode to Erasers

So many people underestimate you

I laughed at them who did math in pen

They never understood the depth of your being.

You’re more than pink decoration on a yellow wooden stick.

A savior is what you are.

The only thing in the world mistakes are afraid of.

Because you can dissolve them.

You don’t need a pencil to support you.

Stronger on your own you are.

Smooth as a pebble.

Those which skip across large bodies of water.

You are anything but ordinary.

Even your colors are unique.

Rumor says your blue side can disintegrate ink.

Be afraid blue ball point pen.

Be very afraid.

First time here? Me too

Hey!

So, I want this be a conversation.

I don’t want this to feel like an interview where I show you my resume and we judge each other on what we read about the other.

I’m here and you’re here.

And I’m happy about that. I’m glad that we can come here to have a conversation. (It’s funny, the more I say this the more this feels like a dating site, which it’s not).

Anyways.

Since this is my first real blog post I want to share something with you.

I have no idea what I’m doing with my life. Ha! I don’t even know why I’m writing this or in this way, but hey it feels right and it makes me feel more comfortable. Hopefully this feels more like a relatable style of writing instead of annoying.

Funny thing is, WordPress red-lined the world relatable (again). Maybe writing like is annoying. But hey who cares *inserted favorite black girl shrug emoji* (Didn’t red-line the word emoji tho).

But anyways, I pretty much just end up places and try to make something of my time (like my great grandmother asked me the other day). I guess that’s all we’re really supposed to be sure of, that we’re making good use of our time while we’re still alive. That being said, my great grandmother, The Great Adline Agatha Coley, is 103 years old. So when she asked me “You making use of your time” I took that in very deeply before I said yes.

IMG_6096Even though I have no idea what I’m doing with my life, I know that I have been making use of my time doing whatever it is that makes me or someone else happy. After my college graduation I had no idea where I would end up, career wise, in the months to come. But what I did know was that I had a responsibility, a duty, to “Make my Life Spectacular”. After all, that’s what I put on my graduation cap. And more importantly it’s what Robin Williams once said in the movie “Jack”.

The following week post grad, I found myself in London, England visiting family. Then a couple weeks later I was touring Cancun, Mexico with my fairy godmother. After landing back in New York, I took a couple trips with friends to local beaches and restaurants to enjoy what was left of the summer. It wasn’t until a few weeks before later that I decided to try branding myself; respectfully as a creative person in any way possible. I started writing stories, poems, screenwriting, making a couple YouTube videos (some still in post) as a way to better market myself and my talents while exercising my skills.

I still had no idea when my career would start but I realized the more I did for my brand, the more people were noticing me and my journey and wanted to help. I ended up getting accepted into an amazing Facebook group that helps promote and uplift fellow YouTubers and Bloggers, creatively and professionally. Being in this group really inspired me to continue creating my way along self discovery.

Maintaining this attitude towards life created an awesome momentum in the universe and has helped me land a couple great gigs with people in the television and entertainment industry, from the NBA to ESPN and CBS. Not to mention the numerous people I’ve have the pleasure of connecting with via LinkedIn. Which is one of my favorite social networks to connect with people and learn a plethora of useful and inspirational information. I call it my “professional Facebook” because I love sharing the incredible articles and videos I stumble upon.

I appreciate how far I’ve come, and the people I’ve been blessed to connect with along the way, who now know of my creative potential and work ethic.

It feels great when people believe in you, and even better when they bet on you. But the best feeling is when you believe and bet on yourself.

And I made a vow to never stop working on myself because I never know where I’ll end up next.

So, I hope you haven’t gotten bored and just started skimming through this blog post like I do when I get bored halfway. If you are that’s okay. Maybe I’ll add a crossword puzzle on the side so you can have something fun to do in between reading my posts. I prefer tic-tac-toe but I can get competitive sometimes so I’ll just leave that out.

But like I said in the beginning of this post, I want this to be like a conversation. I don’t want to feel trapped in a one sided relationship, I want to hear from you too. Tell me how you feel about things and life. Like I said, I have no idea what I’m doing with this blog. But I’m here. And you’re here.

And I think that’s how it starts.

Our Big Toe

I have long toes.

When I was 10 my childhood friend used to say “if I cut my toes off I would be a size 6”. After all these years I finally agree with her. I would be a size 6 if I cut my toes off.

But the toe with the utmost significance is my inherited big toe which my mother blessed me with. Many times I left socks with the eye of a needle. Every single pair of socks I owned eventually had a hole.

But my big toe is beautiful. Wide, round, and brown with three horizontal lines. I think I have beautiful feet. I’m not sure if the person who owns the foot is supposed to be the judge of that. But no one has ever compared them to shriveled up baby carrots or complained whenever I wear sandals.

I am a shoe lover. But my big toe hates beautiful heels because they suffocate and squeeze her like a grape. My mother and I are both shoe crazy (She more than me). As a child I would always put on her heels and practice walking like a woman because I just couldn’t wait to be one (Silly me).

My baby feet grew up learning how to walk like my mother. Toddling behind her at first and then soon treading the pavement right beside her. My mother’s strides were much too long for me and I had to catch up. But ten years later I realize my strides are now quicker than hers. She has taught me well like a lioness trains her cub to conquer the wilderness.

Thanks Mom. I love our big toe.

It reminds me of how far we’ve come and yet to go.