On my quest in becoming a better person (or rather a better woman, or even more specifically a better black woman) I’ve found that the ridiculous expectations and standards placed on women are just that, ridiculous-and that I have to do better and stop constantly placing them on other women. This is nothing new for me, I’ve been working on this for years. Yes, YEARS. Because unlearning a lifetime of terrible behavior is difficult in a society that is so embedded with these things. Difficult- yes, impossible-no.
Nestled in an obscure corner, hidden in the heart of Atlanta is 787 Windsor St. The venue, a former steam boiler manufacturing facility has been reclaimed and turned into a beautiful collection of pipes, metal, concrete, artwork and life. This year the venue was the location of Afropunk’s Carnival of Consciousness in Atlanta.
My favorite travel bloggers , Jo Franco and Damon Dominique, were responsible for awakening the travel bug in me that had been dormant for years. As a kid, I was drawn to exploration and travel but my modest upbringing meant that I could never actually go anywhere. In high-school, I fell into one of those YouTube holes where you watch one video and then end up somewhere completely differently hours later. That’s where I found DamonandJo.
The duo were broke just like me and emphasized ways to travel while on a budget and while facing other constraints as well. Years later, I’m still a super fan of Damon and Jo and recently submitted an anecdotal story about my travels to their We Fly High series.
You can read all about it on their website here!
Okay, first and foremost, this was my first ever trip abroad and I was well aware of the major cultural differences between America and Asian countries before embarking on this one. Having said that, I still don’t know if I was completely prepared for it all.
Being a black girl at my high school was a very strange experience for many different reasons. For the first couple of years I barely had any other black friends and therefore spent most of my time feeling like I couldn’t express my blackness. The remainder of my time there was weird in a different kind of way. I no longer felt out-of-place expressing my blackness, but I couldn’t stand up to those that disrespected it. Either way I felt like I was compromising on something too important to just give up on.
You can be beautiful, but make sure to never boast
and if you aren’t, do not vocalize the pain; do not cry, do not post.
If you wish to live a life that will be rejected by those you love most;
recede into yourself. Become shapeless, lifeless. A shell or a ghost.
If conformity is a dagger that your heart surrounds and bleeds onto
and eradication means certain death or a life of obscurity you cannot undo,
then remain. Content and in excruciating pain with every breath that comes into you.
There is nothing left. A pseudo life; not nearly enough. But will suffice until death is due.
So I’m on that kind of college-student, who supports herself with a low paying part-time job kind of budget. The little money I receive from family helps out with food and toilet paper and things like that. But that doesn’t leave a lot of money for the most important thing! CLOTHES!!
I woke up today and, against my better judgement, started scrolling down social media sites on my phone. I have a ton of photos and videos from my China trip that I have never posted and decided to post one. After doing that, I spent another half hour looking at each photo and video and reminiscing on the experience. I learned two things; the first being that I absolutely loved being there and would do just about anything to go back to China right now and that travelling is probably the most important thing to me.
Sometimes it can be so difficult to remain present. To remain alert and actively involved. For most people in my generation, the current status of the country (and the world) is probably the most difficult thing we’ve had to deal with. So far anyway. We learned about the depressing years from the past and how our grandparents and great-grandparents eventually rose from them. But no one ever talked about the mental toll that these things take. The history books never told us how to deal with these issues on a personal level.
Time spent foreseeing
the future is time wasted.
Is there a future?