At 19 years old, his build was stocky and solid, with not much height to work with, and hands that were larger than expected. He walked with a slight bounce in his step, just on the ball of his foot; and a wide, bright smile, always, on his face. His mission, it seemed, was to make everyone around him laugh. He was laughter, and fun, and lighthearted, and, at times, child-like. Without warning he, somehow, etched a niche for himself in our little home among our little family in South Central Los Angeles. We did not have much, but what we did have we shared openly with him. In this way he became our brother, friend, son, confidante, grandson, soulmate, and nuisance (as little brothers, real or adopted, should be.)
He took his life two years ago.
He was 27 years old.
I wish I had known we only had eight years. Read More
I am just a few days shy of my one month anniversary since moving to the bay area. Classes have started, I am steadily growing in confidence at my new job, and I am making an effort to put myself out there and get to know people. In short, I am trying.
However, I want to discuss an amazing experience I had over the weekend. My first excursion into the east bay area, specifically Oakland, was to attend the Zuvaa: Pop-Up Tour. To give a little background, Zuvaa is an online marketplace that specializes in promoting African/African-American designers, who utilize African textiles, prints, and designs in their collections. The founder and CEO, Kelechi, describes the company’s mission as follows,
“…to empower designers worldwide with the tools to enter a global market and to make woman around the world feel bold and beautiful in vibrant and eccentric African inspired designs.” – Quoted from “Zuvaa: Who We Are“
Now, as the name indicates, this is a tour, which means there will be other locations visited throughout the nation. Cities in the line up include, but are not limited to, Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles! However, for a comprehensive list please visit the website’s tour page. Also, note the admission is free, though you are required to “purchase” a ticket through eventbrite. Once that is settled and done, prepare yourself for an experience filled with eccentric, vibrant, colors, prints, and patterns that offer an alternative to traditional fashion.
It has been some time since my last post, has it not? So much has changed in such a short amount of time, and I could not be more amazed.
I’ve began my life anew in San Francisco, CA; and it has only been a week and half or so that I have lived here. However, in that amount of time, I have learned how truly precious and unexpected life can be. I have felt more gratitude and joy than I ever could have imagined.
As many of you who have been following my blog may well know, I have struggled tremendously with finding my purpose and place in this crazy thing we call life. I can be honest when I say I am 31 years old and, more times than not, I feel like a mess. As a result, my choice to come to the city by the bay came from a strange mix of confusion, hope, necessity, and recklessness. Confusion and recklessness because I had only a vague understanding of what my life would look like when I got here; more like a rough outline. Necessity because I could feel the suffocating weight of stagnation bear down on me. I say hope because I needed to believe that there could be something better. To add to this, I had reached a place where I no longer felt at home in my own hometown. I have a saying, “I love Los Angeles, but it does not always love me.” And while it is the city of the angels, it has a way of showing its dark under belly and cutting, even the natives, to the quick. Read More
I originally planned for this post to come out on Friday, July 8th. Instead, I wrote on a topic more relevant to current times.
Roughly three weeks ago, I went on a sort of mini-vacation to Northern California. It was a last minute thing. It came at the suggestion of a good friend. He understood that, at the moment, I was conflicted over a difficult decision. I was still trying to decide on what would be best for my future. It was one of those matters of over thinking a situation. Over thinking so much that I was unable to see clearly.
So, my friend made the brilliant suggestion that I fly up and meet him in San Francisco. From there we made the drive to the seaside city of Mendocino, California. At first suggestion, it seemed like a rather simple plan. However, once we began the journey, I was surprised by the gracious beauty of my wonderful home state and all the picturesque views along the way.
It was just the distraction I needed to break my own egotism, and step outside of myself for some clarity.
It was idyllic, and I knew I had to take the time to share the photos with you.
“These are troubled days,” she told me. She had been listening to the news all morning, while reading the same scriptures she read every day, from her tattered and over-used bible.
I nodded, because I knew she was right. However, I was still astonished because a woman, who has lived through, experienced, and seen so much of this world, now, feels that times are at their worse. That those brown eyes, now clouded with grey , that have witnessed moments in history I cannot begin to fathom would say that today… TODAY we are in troubled times. My mind reels from the depth of that statement because for her, after all she has gone through, to feel that way about our current circumstances means that this country truly is in dire straits.
My grandmother was a major part of my upbringing. She served as the second parent in my household for lack of a father.