A teenage regression

I am grown. I have grown. I have experienced growth. I am grateful. Now though, in this very moment, in my current space, I feel 16. I feel 16 and not because I am experiencing some crazy teenage love or that childish simplicity. I am 16 because now, at 3something, where I have accomplished one of my most important goal, where I have seen and experienced the trauma, where I have found my peace, I find myself going back to the year I was forced to grow up. The year I did not get to experience because life veered off course. I find myself not really fitting into anything right now because I feel 16. I feel the weight of 16+ off my shoulder. I feel whole. I feel superior to my trials. I feel like the leader of my wilderness. I feel like I can fly because I have overcome. I feel like I owe it to myself to give myself back the year I lost.

How does one act 16? That’s the thing, at 16, I don’t know how to act. I want to be free and I act on my freedom. I want to live my truth and I am living it. I want to rebel against all institutions that bind me and I am knee deep in rebellion. I want to do things on my own terms and now, my terms are priorities. I do not want to be bound by the rules (with the exception of the law..because, well you know) and there currently are no rules.

And because I am grown, I am a responsible 16. I am making good choices. I am deciding who stays and who goes. I am not allowing my heart to experience 16 year old pain. I am being intentional. I am not hiding the truth. I am being purposeful.

I am going with the flow. I’m centered. I’m prayed up. I am watching as God surprises me. I am working on obedience. I am accepting. I am being.  I am 16.

 

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Bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh

This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman…

I love a feminist man because his love for me is pure. He loves my womanhood,  celebrates my humanity and embraces my imperfections.  He places my entire self at his level, and our equality is not to be compromised.  He believes that we were both created in the same beautiful image–from his rib I was birthed because without me his existence was far from complete. My feminist man lets me choose the role I want to play not because he’s a punk, and bends to my every command, but because part of our equality includes freedom and freewill endowed to us by our creator. The role I choose so happens to be one that allows me to cater to, create with and provide for. It also allows for him to be in the kitchen with me because it’s a task without support I can’t seem to enjoy. My feminist man doesn’t tell me what I should do or not do because I am a woman, and for that I am thankful.

My feminist man’s love for social justice is matched with my passion. We speak against the bigots, the sexist, the abusers and the wrongdoers with the same tone–fierce, with love, sans condemnation and with truth. He argues against why my sisters should be slut shamed, why my black sisters should be equally worthy as my other sisters, and why we should all #fuckthepatriarchy. When my sisters are sexually abused he doesn’t look to what they were doing, how they did it or what could have been avoided. He looks to the perpetrator, and demands justice. He doesn’t get brownie points for being a feminist because it’s not something he does for show. He does it because he believes it’s his way of life. In fact he doesn’t label it feminism because equality doesn’t need any other name.

Together we fight against misogyny and misandry that pollutes our community. We believe the hate and animosity keeps us from achieving the most important tasks of loving our neighbors, breaking through barriers that keep women at the bottom and confines us in boxes to be opened for sexual purposes. We fight against these things because a united front is necessary to get what we believe is deserved all in the name of equality.

My feminist man and I make plans to have a future. We plan on having Sean Bell’s, DJ Henry’s, Trayvon Martin’s, Rekia Boyd’s, Renisha McBride’s and Jordan Davis’. Black boys and girls who lives matter. We plan on raising them to ask for help without the fear if being shot in the back,  playing loud music that helps them get into the groove, and wearing hoodies that keeps them comfortable. We plan on teaching them to give the utmost respect to all of humanity regardless of the differences that exist. We don’t plan on raising martyrs, but fighters, survivors and truth sayers that will change the world.

I love a feminist man because the worth that I carry is not only contained in my vagina, but in my mind, soul and spirit.  All these things indeed make the most passionate/explosive night, but also a passionate speech, a Voir Dire and a winning POTUS campaign (lol). I love a feminist man because he is an educator, humanity lover, community warrior and family builder. I love a feminist man because it’s my choice.

En tout cas,

Me

When did Rape become a culture???

Over the years I have come to embrace the concept of culture, and different ideologies that make up our Universes’ melting pot. This process includes: being aware and accepting of differences, having my own unique and personal set of practices that characterize my beliefs, being acquainted with different forms of the arts (my views on art go beyond paintings, music, poetry and literature. I’ve come to learn that art is so beautiful because of its subjectivity and creative interpretation), and straying away from normative practices that I never quite fitted into. This cultural embracing has also allowed me to stand against man made concepts such as religion, and embark on finding my purpose in life through a very personal and intimate relationship. I am in a better place mentally, emotionally, spiritually because of this cultural embrace. I am encouraging growth–“I cultivate.”

Like Art, culture is also subjective. Many of us tend to disagree with certain cultural practices because they seem demoralizing, unjust and offensive. Those that practice these forms of culture tend to see it differently, and embrace it. It’s important for us to fight for human rights, civil rights and equality, but we must also accept that certain practices for certain people are forms of growth—except for rape.

In the past couple of weeks there has been a lot of buzz in (social) media about “ending rape culture,” and I am appalled. I have tried my best to avoid reading what either side has to say, but this has become a difficult feat. I’ve come across several tweets, messages and articles that describe rape victims as “harlots who deserve what they get, folks who need to avoid getting raped, or as persons responsible for another’s sexual behavior. Perhaps this is just my own naïveté, but I am appalled that this is even trending as some sort of culture. Rape as a culture implies that it is an acceptable form of abuse, it encourages self-expression, and an art form meant for imitation.

The justifications/defense for rape as a culture includes victim blaming as aforementioned, slut-shaming, glorifying music that encourages/perpetuates rape, and the gross sexualization of men and women. No matter how extraordinary, unjust or unique someone’s culture might be these absolutely do not define a cultural make up. What this defines, however, is the lack of education around why boys/men/women should not rape, the complete disregard for humanity at the conception of the thought to rape another, and dehumanization of the victim. I cannot stress how important it is to use well thought out word choices. Words are a form of art, and they breathe life into our world. Using the term “rape culture” permeates this form of abuse into our being, and makes it socially acceptable to the perpetrators. Let’s just call rape what it is, Rape: a crime.

En tout cas,

me

The Fast and the Fearless

I have always been a fast girl. I was walking by 7 months, was the first in the litter box sand box to cut her first tooth, and the first to be plagued with chicken pox (Do kids still get this?). Everything always seem to move pretty quickly, and I adapted to the fast pace lifestyle that was undoubtedly part of who I was. As I got older I was the first to complete my exams, first to finish my food and the first to finish getting ready

I was sitting in my car one day ( may she rest in Yaris heaven) and realized that I was feeling rushed. I was nearly out of breath and this all could have been remedied if I took my time. Maybe I could have gotten up a little earlier, paced myself and accomplish my morning activities without feeling like Jason Voorhees was sitting in my backseat. I locked my doors immediately, and looked back to make sure the masked mad man wasn’t indeed after me.  I needed to start over.

I made the resolution right then and there to slow down.  True time waits for no one, but I controlled how I made use of my time. I needed to plan my days better, make better use of my time and not burden myself with things that I really could not change. I needed to leave room to breathe. My breathing is necessary, imperative, mandatory, and all other words that emphasize this significance to my growth. How could I accomplish my future goals if I forgot this easy God-given gift.

No worries my fast ass life is a message, and it’s for someone (:-)). Growing up my mom always use to tell me “Qui va lentement arrive surement”. I never use to get it because I took it in its literal sense. How could I go slow, and still arrive where I needed to be. But really it means no matter how fast or slow you go you will still reach your destination.  Sometimes life happens and causes you to take unexpected detours, but stay focused on your goals. Don’t let the small mishaps dictate your future.  If the current path you are on is not what’s meant for you I am sure you will find your niche.  Don’t get discouraged and don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Be open to new and great things that will change your life. Life and human nature are unavoidable so the days that time is not on your side it’s  okay to chuck it up as a lost. No sense in crying over spilled milk.  I’ve applied this every aspect of my life: waking up, getting ready, work and etc.., and it has made a huge impact. I worry less, I accept the things I cannot change and make it my mission to change the things that  I can–all because I have more time.

Breathe, Slow down, Be patient, and Move forward!

En tout cas,

Me

So in love

I use to think I knew what love was until last weekend. I’ve felt it, I’ve experienced it, I’ve learned about it, and I have read about it. Most importantly I studied it via John the Baptist who lays out the foundation on how to love through Christ. Last weekend I attended a close family friends’ engagement party. Prior to attending I was a little nervous because I was spending the weekend with the whole family. I have only met two, and though they were great I wasn’t sure about the others (only because I hadn’t met them yet).

After what seemed like a long drive we arrived to White Plains (Westchester County), NY and I took a much needed nap. As I drifted in and out of sleep I was wondering how the interaction would be once the family came home. Would we have great conversations? Would they like me? Would we have anything to discuss? This went on for a few hours until it was time for me to run some errands with the mom (who I have met). Conversation with her was great. She asked me how I was doing, I helped her with her errands and we made our first stop to pick up one of her daughters. She greeted me immediately with a hug and a smile. I breathed a sigh of relief. This won’t be so bad after all. We exchanged some words until we dropped her off to pick up another daughter. Conversation with her too was off to a great start. My fears immediately disappeared. We got home, and the eldest daughter was already home. We hugged, kissed and exchanged I haven’t seen you in so longs. I immediately got to work helping them with the many projects to prepare for Saturday’s festivities. My first night with the family was a success.

Throughout working and interacting with the sisters and other family members I began to feel some sort of connection. Not only a connection with them, but also a connection within my spirit. There was so much love and light being poured out from them that you couldn’t possibly not be touched. Throughout my short time with them I fell in love. I fell in love with myself, I fell in love with my spirit and I fell in love with life and everything that it embodies. How does one fall in love in such a short period of time? Love is such a strong element that it physically, mentally and spiritually attacks you without a blink of an eye. Love puts a strong hold on your heart once you ALLOW it, and it will take a force stronger than the Universe (impossible) to remove this element from your life.

Last weekend I became a believer of love at first sight. I learned that throwing love out there will not only benefit those that need it, but it will also mend my torn interior. I have to continuously remind myself that I won’t feel like this all the time. There are days where I will feel like the world is crumbling at my feet, and there won’t be any where to turn. In spite of these shortcomings that will for sure enter my world love will still have a home in my spirit.

For now I am thankful for this love that has completely taken over. I am thankful for that weekend in White Plains with 3 amazing women that helped me began my journey of finding true love and light. I pray that they will be showered with blessings and continue to have a spirit that inspires change.

 

En tout cas (in any case),

Me