Saturday, March 21, 2015

Dear Tessa: Listening to No

Dear Tessa,

Last weekend, you told me no-- no less than 100 times. When I tried to comb your hair. When I tried to kiss your cheek. When I tried to change you into a diaper so that you wouldn't wet the bed during a nap. When I tried to make you lay down for that said nap. When I tried to make you sit down to eat the toast you asked for --You get the point.

What I struggled with is doing what I know is best for you (the food, the nap, the curl detangling) and honoring your right to say no. I want you to grow up to be a woman who feels confident in what she knows is best for herself, but how can I do that when I am trying to overpower you to do what I think is best? I am not sure how well I did this weekend in honoring your wishes. Even as you jumble up your words and are frustrated by my inability to understand, I hope you know that I hear you.

My hope for you is that as you grow older, and even as I push my own advice onto you, I will hear you. I will listen.  I will ask questions to deepen my understanding of who you know yourself to be.

As you sat in the tub, asking me for, "Ten more minutes!" I had only offered two, but you knew best. You sang to your bath toys, "Along comes Mr. Alligator quiet as can be... SNAP! That monkey right outta that tree!" Finally you were ready, when you pulled out the drain stopper. Wrinkled, cold and scared of the sound, you called for my help.  I wrapped you up into the towel like a caterpillar in its cocoon and called you my little butterfly. You nestled your wet curls into my neck and perched yourself into my arms.

You knew when you were ready. I'll hold onto this moment as you grow older and the risks, decisions, and possibilities of mistakes become bigger. We all do things in our own time, even when you're two years old. I promise to be patient with your requests, knowing that whether it takes you two minutes or ten, two years of twenty, you'll figure it out just like the rest of us.

Thank you for being my favorite (and cutest) teacher.


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Currently Reading: Ruby by Cynthia Bond


Read just enough of it to read the following line and to feel the sense of relief that in this crazy, messed up world that being even half-way sane is an accomplishment:
"They are all kinds of crazy. Some filk drink themselves so stupid. Others so empty, gluttony take they belly hostage. And some get so full of hate, it like to crack they soul. Hell, ain't nothing strange when Colored go crazy. Strange is when we don't." (p. 71)
It's Oprah's Book Club selection, but this book deserves the hype for the way it explores the effects of racism and violence on the mental wellness and health of oppressed people. So, when the stories of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown have us waking up feeling sick to our stomachs or have us running into the streets wanting to scream at the top of our lungs, this story reminds us that racism has been driving us crazy long before we knew to name it as such.

And so with that, I am going back to reading. What are you all reading right now?

Sidenote: Thank you to all of those who are still reading! I am trying to get back in the rhythm and figure out what this space will be now. If you have any ideas of what you want to see here, write them in the comments! xoxo 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

7 Things Before 7am

1. I bought two bras that almost equal half my paycheck. Someone told me that in my 30's I needed expensive undergarments. I am starting early--little sister complex.

2. Read a bit of Oprah's new Book Club selection, Ruby, and instantly felt depressed by the state of my writing.

3. Put an english muffin in the toaster over and didn't burn it. The past few months I have been eating black toast because of my negligence.

4. Proof-read someone else's work.

5. Thought about quitting my job.

6. Decided I need my job to pay for the expensive bras.

7. Drank a cup of coffee.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

The (Conditional) Love Letter

Dear Me,

I must confess, my love for you is conditional and not undying. It fades in and out like the flicker of a candle.

I love you most when your cheeks sit high on your face, perched on a throne above your nose.
I love you most when your jaw line is so sharp that it could slice an apple.
I love you most when your eye makeup is smudged and unkept.
I love you most when you get all of the right answers.
I love you most when when you know all of the song lyrics to our favorite song.
I love you most when you pacing through the city streets searching for the perfect spot to be alone.
I love you most when you are in front of a crowd talking about the power of love, care, and understanding to change the world.
I love you most when you are sitting quietly at a desk typing away and lost in a thought.
I love when you are alone and the should's disappear, but the could's open up the possibilities.

But,  I love you most when you are so deep living that the days melt together and all you have is Purpose.

Let's find that place together, okay?

(Conditionally) Love(d),

Tuesday, February 10, 2015


You'll chop your hair off. You'll dye it blue-black. You'll look in the mirror hoping that the right combination of charcoal eyeliner and swept-off-the-face bangs will remind you of who you used to be.  You'll put on the black leggings, the black dress, and the black thigh-high boots; the uniform that used to feel like armor.  You'll hope that the reflection in the dirty mirror will become recognizable once again. You're not searching for happiness or even sadness, just probing for the honest body that used to greet you on those cold mornings before you had a long to-do list filled with mind-numbing busy work.

The room will be quiet. The TV will be muted and paused. The playlist silenced. It is here, without a picture to be taken or a word that must be said, that you will feel it again. You will feel what it is like (again) to uncover purpose, to complete an intention, and to do the things that you said you wanted to do. You will remember that the only limitation to your capacity is your unwillingness to do the things you love.

I should have never stopped blogging and/or writing, but this isn't a place where we kick ourselves down. It's a place where you pick yourself up, put on a pretty dress, and say, I am exactly where I am supposed to be.  I did exactly what I was supposed to. I am doing exactly what I was meant to be doing. Now, let's do this.