Yesterday I was told “No”

“I choose to be happy”
One of the many affirmation cards that sit on my desk. If I have learned anything in the past year it is this, it is okay to be patient until you get what you want. In other words, wait for the right fuel (I wonder how many times I have said this to myself and in my post already, I need a constant reminder). Coincidentally, as I lift the next card up it states, “It is ok for me to have everything I WANT.”

Yesterday I was told “No”
A normal response this time last year would be some feelings of discouragement. However, this time around I was happy, weirdly happy. Maybe it is not weird at all. I know that if I was told yes I would have continued a process where I was settling. A door was closed and I know that something better for me is waiting behind another door; as cliche as it sounds.

Moving to Missouri has been particularly challenging. Not the moving part, but what I have experienced while here. Despite the mental exhaustion and dragging myself out of bed each day, I do not think I made the wrong choice by any means. After a few hard conversations, I know a new chapter awaits.

My life is currently similar to the cursor I see on my screen. It is waiting for me to write my next chapter and the difference this time is that there is no script. The only guidelines are what I need to be happy, thriving, and my definition of successful.

Therefore, I leave you with this…

“We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us” supposedly said by someone named Joseph Campbell

Radiantly Gold

Sun-kissed Skin
Radiant as a sunflower
Nothing comes close to the way her melanin glows
Her Steez
Uncomparable
Her walk
Her talk
Her smile
She is gold♦♦

 

Follow me on twitter and Instagram: @TheeKWard

Letting Go: The end is knowing

Letting Go: The end is knowing

#Haiku “Letting Go”
No questions let go
Your worth will shine and capture
By then you will know

Slowly I have been letting things go and taking a step back from thoughts that have kept my mind from being free. I have declared 2017 as the year I will say yes to more experiences, let go of things that I have held onto for too long, let go of pain while being honest about my wounds, and letting go of anything toxic. I owe all of this to myself. If I was to give this year a theme it would be “The Year of Healing.”

Through this process, I am actively taking steps to recognize when I need to take a step back. I am reflective in this way. I enjoy being able to reflect and process my experiences, different situations, emotions, etc… and love it when I have the ability to talk about it among my friends. Reflection is such a powerful tool. At times I tend to overthink and I know how to pull myself back in.

Communication is so important to me and sometimes I struggle with it. One thing I mentioned awhile back is that I will say what I need to even if I hesitate and cry to get whatever it is out. Those may not be the exact words, but I hope you catch my drift.

I want to make this year the year that I invest more in myself and what I like to do. Part of that for me is letting go and knowing how to be kinder to myself. Be kind to yourself because society steps on your back enough. We all have our reasons why we are hard on yourself. I have good reasons and I know it is okay to give myself a break.

Throughout our life we will not always get the answers we seek when we seek them, sometimes they come to us at a later time down our path. You may feel that you need to let something go, but not know why. Listen to your intuition. Have the hard conversation, let the grudge go, let the skeletons out of the closet, change, grow, invest in yourself, heal, experience…

Most importantly, DO YOU!

**I did not take the featured image and have no rights to the photo.

Potential mediocrity meets the wandering mind: One-way stop

Have you ever felt like you are sitting in a place of complacency? Have you felt like changing your trajectory, but the steps to walk that way are unclear?

Maya Angelou said, “nothing will work unless you do.” So here you are trying to figure out what you want to accomplish next and looking for your next challenge to grow while climbing to leave a place where you feel mediocre. Maybe most of your connections are in one area and you are trying to figure out how to build a wider network.

What might get you the most is that you feel that you do not have anyone to talk to about where you would like to go next. Knowing that your journey is your own you still juggle the concept of time in your mind. Am I where I am supposed to be?

You want more for yourself and realize you have internalized messages that told you, who you are and how far you will go. Doubt at this point may have set in. Although doubt may have set in you use your mental power to combat those messages while letting yourself know that you can. Because you cannot spell “can’t” without “can” am I right? maybe not enough cans in one sentence.

As you continue your journey you come to a stop sign down a one-way road. Forward is where you want to be and behind you is where you are at. Thus, you are met with the inevitable notion of experience. Do you have enough? Do you have more than enough? You are expected to have this and if you do not you must teach yourself or be taught. You might ask, “why am I not able to jump right in? Sorry, it does not work that way and people have become too lazy with more trust in technology. Yes, we want people to have experience with something such as being a surgeon or do you want to hop on the hospital bed with someone wanting to “try it out”? My immediate guess is your answer is, no.

Whoever you are or wherever you are you get what you put out in the universe. Maybe it is not asking if you are where you are supposed to be, but making a statement that you are going where you need and or want to be. Maybe instead of complacency you are transitioning and want to be set when you may just be getting started. However, do not settle for mediocrity. Do not settle for the person society wants you to be either. Find yourself and find purpose through reflection. On your way do not forget to be present and enjoy where you are!

Be the one who turns the one-way into a four-way (all-way) and does not turn back

 

 

“Still I Rise”

“Still I Rise”

So here it goes, I will be that “angry Black womxn” you speak of and continue to hold my chin up *Kanye Shrug.

Recently, I have found myself trying to repair the feelings of my privileged counterparts. I have been confronted by white fragility & white guilt, which they are currently winning. I owe you nothing and deserve space to express how I feel.

As I continue to follow those who inspire me I am reminded that I am here and I matter.

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I sorta kinda censored my twitter more than usual and that says something. However, mental exhaustion is real and I needed to unplug.

First and foremost, if you do not like what I have to say that is okay. I believe in the power of dialogue and have experience having multiple conversations surrounding equity issues with diverse others and white people. I am here to share my knowledge, thoughts, and work through the toxicity of whiteness. You may feel uncomfortable and there are so many factors I consciously and unconsciously consider when taking a step out of the door as a Black womxn.  You have the ability to just walk outside. **I am in no way comparing my experience to my LGBTQ+ family as I recognize the effort in “coming out” every day and dealing with heterosexism.

On a daily basis, I and many others are striving to rise above messages that try to tell us that we are less than. As I continue to figure out what it means to be a Black womxn and the ways I can be ME authentically I am going to continue to disrupt and fight for the space underrepresented populations deserve.

For this reason, I will continue to cause trouble.

“Sometimes we have to take the risk of fulfilling the fantasies other people have of us” Sarah Ahmed

Please feel free to comment and engage with me =)

You can find me on twitter and Instagram as well @TheeKWard

Say Yes: Tinder and Fetishization

Say Yes: Tinder and Fetishization

I decided 2K17 is my “year of yes.”

Recently, I re-downloaded tinder (my swipe left game is strong on this app) and re-downloaded Soul Swipe as well. I downloaded these apps with zero intentions to date. I am in a process of healing and trying to do more for myself.

I am chillin’ in a “if it happens it happens” state.

I was super liked on tinder and decided to find out who it was. It happened to be a white male, which rendered zero surprise because that app is full of white males out here in rural Amerikkka. I was planning to swipe left again until I noticed something.

He was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. a traditionally Black fraternity. I found this interesting because the last couple of people I tried to pursue were Alphas **laughing on the inside. I also have friends who are Alphas and I find them to be respectable men. I decided to like him because the curious part of me had questions.

Not necessarily because he is a white male in a traditionally Black fraternity because he is definitely not the first…

Before I continue I do not date white men. If you have read the article by Tanzila Ahmed, “Why I Don’t Date White Men” she states, “it’s like being with the colonizer. or an oppressor. I can’t do that.” Putting the political part of this conversation aside hanging out with someone I just met through a dating app is unheard of for me. Yall have watched catfish right? lol I am not going to be the one. More importantly, as a womxn it is a safety thing for me too. Unfortunate to mention and that is the reality.

Later in the night I told him I was not going to come and thought about my pledge to say “yes to more things. Just trying to live a little more that’s all. I extensively looked this guy up on the internet. When I looked up his job the location came up as St. Louis and I was like wait, he is in KC so how is his job 4 hours away. MY HEART DROPPED
the worst possible situations were running through my head.

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Fast forward I found him on linkedin *handclap, facebook  *handclap, school he graduated from *handclap, and his bio on his employers website *handclap!!

I DO NOT PLAY THESE GAMES.

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When I was confident enough that the person on the other side of the phone was who he said he was I decided to go, and as soon as I got there I sent a text message to my best friend Fanny that stated “If you do not hear from me I am here *inserts location” she responded and said, “WHY ARE YOU BEING SKETCHY!”

Rewind, I entertained the idea after this conversation

Him: Bruh I’m new to town and I need new people to kick it with. We share political preoccupations so that’s a good start.

**I started laughing because he called me “bruh” and I am thinking, “here we freaking go…”

Why do white people feel the need to address Black people using vernacular specific to Black people. I mean in an in-group type of way…

Me: … What political preoccupations do we share?

Him: Fighting for equality and celebrating the natural beauty of all women. Not beauty in the “appealing to the male gaze” sense of the word-real beauty. The beauty of humanity that should be recognized regardless of provincial standards of what it means to be attractive.

**Some context: My profile said “Feminist AF and Black women are magic”

Moving along, when I got there he explained a Facebook conversation he was having with someone about feminism and mental illness. I enjoy intellectual conversations but the “I am really here right now when I could be in bed sleep” kept replaying in my head but I listened. I stayed for a bit and bounced.

The next day Fanny asked me what I was doing, I told her, and this was her response

Fanny: My mouth is open that you went out with a white guy lol

Here is the thing. I am trying to have more of an open mind. I told him I would not have liked him on Tinder if he was not an Alpha and I let him know that I do not interact with white men what so ever. Let’s not bring my white friends into this.

The last time I hung out with white men I was degraded and made to feel like a piece of meat. I was soooooo uncomfortable and never talk about that experience.

My relationships are more than just a preference. Politics come into play as well as my ability to be able to talk about my experiences without having to teach and explain that they are valid.

Someone once said to me, “I do not date white men because they will always find some way to call you nigger.” #Deep

I cannot remember for the life of me who mentioned that. My intention with this new relationship is to share knowledge. If he is interested in Black womxn it is important that he hears my voice. No I do not have the responsibility to teach nor do I speak for all Black womxn.

At the same time I often see the fetishization and oversexualization of Black womxn, latinx womxn, and Black men. I will also add the fetishization of bi-racial children based on physical features without thinking of the responsibilities and weight that holds.

I do not speak for all of these people and reflect on the multiple factors people of color (POC), Queer people of color (QPOC), non-binary, trans*, trans* people of color, etcetera need to consider when deciding to pursue a relationship. No they are not entitled to you or your “exotic” trophy.

Flight #1564

Flight #1564

This post is about a week late but hey, here it goes anyway…

Outside of the fact that I get anxiety at the thought of something going wrong while I go through TSA, I like airports. Well maybe not necessarily airports but hopefully you can catch my drift as you continue reading. I am an introvert and tend not to branch out but usually people talk to me. Either, I want people to avoid me or I will engage a little bit.

I met a couple today who are retired and getting their travel on! I was happy to get a window seat, yay me! As they asked me where I was from the husband and I were able to make a connection. He recently retired from the place I work at now. He still teaches online. Do you ever think about sitting on the back porch having a conversation with an older couple that you have known all of 2 seconds? Just me? Okay. 

We have so much to gain from those we pass in the airport down to those who pick up the toilet paper you decided to leave on the ground while in the restroom stall. 

Now on my second fight I am in the middle of two people currently and for the first time chose to sit in the middle, what???? The person to my left is drinking a Bloody Mary while reading a book. The person to my right is slowly drinking an alcoholic drink that someone bought them. I am guessing it is one of their buddies. I just got done drinking some Chardonnay, my first alcoholic drink on a flight I might add, and I have flown at least over 20 times by now. Wow, that I can be thankful for.

All this reflection and taking the energies of the people around me reminds me of my experience when I was on my way to South Korea. 

I was on my way to my gate when a couple sparked up a conversation with me. I told them that I am headed to study abroad and it is the first time I am leaving the country. The wife proceeded to ask me how old I was. After, she started to cry. If you know how emotional I am I almost cried too. She mentioned that she had a child the same age as me. Her husband did his best to calm her down and assure her that I was going to make it to South Korea safely. It touched my heart and still does to this day. I wish I grabbed onto the opportunity to stay in contact with them. 

Whatever your journey in life you come across some great people. In a world so cruel that is one thing I know I can appreciate at the end of the day. We always have something to learn whether good, bad, sad, joyful etcetera from the people we pass. The people we sit next to, the people we become friends with, the people who annoy us, the people we slowly eye from across the way because they look scrumptious… forgive me for I have sinned? *rubs chin…According to this pastor I recently heard preach I have sinned.

Anyway, I sit here with so many thoughts running through my head and I cannot wait to land

#CaliforniaBound