Self Reflection

img_1808

As many times as I have traveled to Atlanta for an impromptu staycation, I am always amazed about the experiences, people and the memories that are captured. This past weekend, I had the opportunity to indulge in a girl’s trip with my best friends from middle school. Although one of our best friends had a prior family engagement, she was not permitted to attend. However, the weekend was still nothing short of amazing. God is truly amazing! He NEVER ceases to amaze me and this weekend was no different!

Before each and every trip, we begin a prayer. For God to provide his traveling grace and mercy while on the highway, sense of direction and a good experience. The first adventure that we were able to experience was a pole and lap class at Dance 411. Usually, neither one of us would suggest attending a class such as this but because we always lecture one another to ‘experience life and create memories’, we decided to attend the class. Such a fun experience this was and an even better work out! After any physical activity, one would be inclined to crave Mexican food. We grabbed a bite to eat at the famous Taqueria Del Sol. Afterward, we got dressed and did something a little low-key from the usual ‘Atlanta turn up’, the night entailed attending a couple of bars on Edgewood. The night was truly amazing! As you get older, you will realize that clubs are overrated and although you want to experience nightlife there are other ways to do just that. Closing up the last part of the trip, we went to Paces & Vine to have a lovely brunch. Following, we went to the Jackson Street Bridge to gaze at the Atlanta skyline view.
To many, this may not seem as if it was very eventful or fun but to me as well as my best friend, this weekend was amazing. Simply the best weekend that we have had in a long time. This weekend was not only a girl’s trip but a time in which we were able to disconnect to reconnect. My best friends and I have been friends for over 15 years!! Imagine meeting someone in the sixth grade and remaining friends into your adulthood. Yes, the dynamics of your friendship change, experiences in life alter not only yourself but your friendship as well. In order to maintain, any relationship, you must communicate, nurture and love unconditionally, to have a relationship worth lasting.

The only real luxury is time. You can’t get time back.

As I sat back and reflect on my weekend, I took away a few gems. First and foremost, YOU are responsible for your own happiness and what YOU PUT OUT is what YOU GET. Another priceless gem—you have to seize each and every moment. There are some experiences that are not social media worthy and a video or a picture will never capture the true essence of the moment. And for my final gem, in order to truly understand the depth of your relationship, you must disconnect in order to reconnect. I truly thank God for my time spent with my best friend, laughter and the genuineness of our relationship. Again, this weekend has taught me that no matter what– feelings, experiences, disagreements, unsaid words and the timeframe in which we have not spoken with one another will be something that each relationship will face. Yet, it is up to me as a person to decide the worth of my friendship and the worth of myself to keep the relationship going. My friends will remain constant in my life!

img_1784
Views from Jackson Street Bridge in Atlanta, Ga located in the Old 4th Ward

 

 

Advertisements

H&M: Culturally sensitive much?

 

Controversial H&M advertisement ad

 

With everything in this world to have a great debate about, why should racial slurs be one of them? H&M recently, without clearly thinking, marketed a green hoody with the words “The coolest monkey in the jungle”. No big deal right? Well get this, a young African American boy was sporting the H&M hoody. I know plenty of individuals are probably wondering why this should be the topic of concern. I’ll let you know why…

First and foremost, for years WE have been called any and all degrading name under the sun including a monkey and/or ape. Those types of derogatory names derive from the time of slavery. I greatly applaud that someone would have the audacity to print and publish those degrading words on a hoody and have none other than an African American young boy wear it for their business. Our young African American kids  already have enough within their own community to worry about but to be ostracized still by the world is a totally different conversation.

I have always been the one to understand all perspectives when a “misunderstanding” arises but with this particular case, I truly believe I’ve exhausted all avenues. With African Americans being the target of society, this incident would just be one more dart to add to the collection.

Businesses, in general, hire individuals who specialize in marketing to various people but in a way that is culturally sensitive and appropriate, H&M were you advertising to the countless African Americans who buy from your stores? Trust me this was not the brightest idea! You mean to tell me with you being in business for so long, advertising in such a way that all ethnicities purchased your items, that this mistake accidentally happened?

Truly, we’ve got to re-evaluate who we support, in terms of businesses. In no way, my personal opinion, would our fellow melanin brothers and sisters have us out here looking crazy. Let’s educate our people, but first and foremost, let’s educate our children to know that just because you are offered it’s not always a good idea and it isn’t always good money.

#supportblackbusiness #buyblack

Black Girl Magic.

img_1305Happy New Year to each and every one of you! 2018 is a year for everyone to experience prosperity, growth, great health, new endeavors and your best life. I know each year we all set aside some elaborate “new year, new me” hype that seemingly fades away after the first week of January BUT this time, let’s stick to some more concrete plans.
What is it that YOU want to change in YOUR life? Go after that! Want to finally achieve that ideal body? Go for it sis. Want to travel the world on a McDonald’s budget? You can still see the Seven Wonders of the World even on a budget. Let’s not allow our current circumstances or our old way of thinking to deter our vision. We have another 365 days to create the life in which we have always dreamed.
Somebody needs to know that they did not read this post by accident! Whatever you set your mind to, DO IT! Whatever you want to achieve, ACHIEVE IT! There are so many things that you will regret, alone, by the end of the year. Do not allow 2018 to be in vain, especially, when God allowed you to make it this far. Go forth into 2018 with a prayer, a plan and a whole lot of black girl magic.

Taboo: Mental Health amongst the African American Community

7

Why is it forbidden to speak of mental health within the African American community? As an individual who has a career in social services, I am able to interact with beautiful people every day from every walk of life. What I have observed while in my career is the level of sensitivity that those in the African American community have toward issues revolving around mental health illness.

Caucasians are more likely to seek assistance or have a conversation about the changes in their behavioral pattern such as how they think, act, feel, handle stress, relating to other and making choices. Many have consulted their doctor which results in medication to be subscribed to treat their mental illness or spoken with a therapist. Within the African American community, a majority, have chosen to suffer in silence due to media portraying mental health illness as some sort of demon that could be prayed off; or even, shrug off for that individual is having a bad day and giving the individual time to be left alone. Mental health is a serious concern within our community and it needs to be addressed!

Please note that there are various factors that contribute to mental health issues such as biological factors and life experiences. Unclear whether you or someone you know have mental health issues that need to be addressed? Experiencing one or more feelings/behaviors may indicate early warning signs:

*suicidal thoughts SUICIDE HOTLINE NUMBER 1-800-273-8255

*inability to perform daily tasks

*hearing voices

*disengaging in activities with others

*continuous thoughts of a traumatic life experience

*having little or no energy

*feeling inadequate or unimportant

*eating or sleeping too much or too little

The fact of the matter is, there are various signs or symptoms that lead to mental health issues that should not be ignored, children battle mental health issues as well that then follow them into adulthood. We need to inform our people that conversations involving taboo topics such as mental health need to be conducted for the prosperity of our culture. Let’s educate each other!