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
Even though I got to see Eartha Kitt as Catwoman and Nichelle Nichols as Uhura when I was a kid, I can’t help but wonder if it would’ve been different for me if I had grown up playing with Dora Milaje dolls instead of black Barbies which back then, disappointingly enough, were simply Barbies made in brown.
Unchecked emotional wounds are like our own little black holes that indiscriminately suck up all manner of BS that floats our way, and cause the wrong people to gravitate toward us.
Ultimately, we can’t emotionally terraform another human being. We can’t come at a fiery, gaseous-planet-version of a person and convert them into a lush green oasis at our whim.
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.
Summertime is in full swing and I truly feel rejuvenated. For real. I’m like a fully charged solar panel, running on the accumulated energy from my springtime acts of self-care and my newfound love for the word “no.” Best of all, there’s a formula to my recent onslaught of joy. It’s a double dose of no-f*cks-given that I’ve decided to whip out this summer simply because it’s due. Also, I highly recommend it. Read More
We’re all hurtling toward the same certainty. (SPOILER ALERT: It’s a dirt nap.) The good news is, that makes everything that’s been giving me anxiety lately seem pretty stupid. Still, the anniversary of my Nana’s death just passed and it always leaves me emotionally wobbly for a bit. At this point I’ve decided to think of each time I feel this way as an eclipse–an anticipated semiannual event in which most of the light in my life is obscured by unwanted reflections about my own missteps and mortality. Fun. Luckily for me, it’s temporary. Plus, this year I’m using this emotional eclipse to think about the people, things, and thought processes I can stand to do without. I wish I could advise you on how to do this while you’re happy, but it doesn’t seem to work well that way. So if you’ve got some grief to spare, pull up a chair. Read More