Biking Hans Solo: On Brushes with Death, Vanity, and Being Grateful

Sometimes we move too quickly and pile too much on.  This time last year, I spent my mornings in my grandmother’s basement writing furiously as I took on any freelance gig that would help me recover financially from my separation from my husband. After  a few hours in front of my laptop, I’d crack the door that led into the laundry room and open the back door that led out the yard, just so the light would flood in and I wouldn’t lose my mind in the shadowy space.  Fast forward to this year, and I’m making more than I’ve ever made at any other day job, working around the clock on creative projects while trying to scale a business, and juggling my fitness and parenting goals in between.  Awhile back, I started feeling a little overwhelmed by my schedule, but I kept telling myself I’d take a decent break after Ramadan, which ends in mid-June. Only, I didn’t make it that far. The universe put me on my back instead…when I got hit by a car while riding my bike.

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Gravity: The Heavy, Messy, Sex Edition

I went to New York to see a show and speak on a panel about afrofuturism last week.  I hired a photog friend who recently moved up there to capture some shots of me speaking so I could use them for my personal website.  After the panel, I rode the train with my photographer friend and playfully told him to delete the ones where I looked particularly fat.

I thought he’d laugh, but instead he said, “You’re serious?  I always thought you loved the camera.”

“I do, but only when I control the shot.” Then, more shakily, I told him, “I just have a lot of stuff I don’t like about the way I look on camera, and plus I’ve gained weight.  It gives me anxiety. It always has.”

He looked genuinely confused at that point.  The train was coming and more people had gathered close to us, so he asked the question loudly.  “But…why?  I mean, do you ever ask yourself why that is?”

I just looked at him as I thought about all the horrible reasons that I know exactly why that is.

Before I could conjure a self-shaming joke to mask the tension, he said, “I think you should write about it.”

So here we are. Read More

The Void: ScarGate 2017 (On Love)

The an end of a journey is still grimly satisfying because the memory of that finale is sometimes the stamp on our emotional passport we need before we venture to fly elsewhere.  So leap, warp, learn, and love.

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Orbit: On Rape, Manifestation, Octavia Butler, and Erykah Badu

Recently I revisited a journal I’d been keeping about the worst event in my life. When I did I discovered that I’d been writing about it in a way that focused mostly on the pain and damage I suffered, but never about my healing process or how much I’d grown.  Further, I believe that I’d unknowingly been fueling my grief and anxiety by doing so. Since then I’ve learned that writing things down is a big step toward manifesting them, so I’ve been using my pen to speak power into moving forward from the trauma.  It works too. In the words of Erykah Badu, Octavia Butler and many others: Write that sh*t down and watch it get real. Read More