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Showing posts from 2018

7:32PM Bogota Bound

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It was my fault. We sat in the Baja Fresh restaurant way too long after we ate because I was charging my phone and trying to download the new 21 Savage album. Only 15 minutes earlier he said, “Come on, let’s go. They board at 4:01...” I’m like, “No, look, it’s 4:12.” I showed him the email about the flight being delayed and added a little sauce, “See! I’m not new to this, I’m true to this!” He retreated to a defeated silence and we sat until 4:12. 
When we got to G9 and it was empty. The screen said 4:12 but no one was there. No line of people, no booking agents. I thought, damn...they delayed our sh’t again!
I sat cross from her at the charger bar and asked her if I could take a picture of her rings. She was mysteriously quiet. Simply beautiful, too. I wanted to tell her but I didn’t get to. I wanted to know her name but she didn’t say. Just as I was about to write a journal entry, inspired by her silver, Dah ran over to us. 
“De’La, we missed it!” “We missed the flight?” “Yes!!!”
7:46PM
We…

7:13 Reflecting on My Year of Reading

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The book in my hand is one of the very first books I finished, on my own, as an adult, outside of what was required by college courses. This was only like 4 years ago. I already had 3 degrees, at this point, and had been teaching for 7 years, yet, I still did not see the value in independent reading. After “Where We Stand” a bell hooks classic, I finished The Fire Next Time, and then, I read Assata. She listed two books she read while incarcerated: Siddartha and Black Women in White America, so I read those, too. Angela Davis wrote the foreword to Assata’s book, so I read her autobiography, next. Then, Malcolm X’s because I found an OG copy of it while I was on sabbatical in Cuba. Then, Native Son, Giovanni’s Room, Kindred... and I before I knew it, I was a fiend for the high that came from what I call “smoking books” (super corny lol) ...I was guilty of going anywhere, from meetings to parties, being semi-rude and socially-introverted because I was more interested in reading my books…

11:14AM Baltimore Bound

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Feeling good.  So chill. 
This weekend was fun.  Not even going to try to write about it. 
But what I will say is my friends are my family. I have truly defined family for myself. Grateful for being able to grow alongside such strong and creative women. 


6:10PM Just ❤️

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There’s so much bad in the world, I force myself to focus on the positive as my form of actism. I will not speak on negativity. I am not moved by trends and headlines. I have a one track mind: using literacy to help my students develop an positive inner image of themselves. That’s I can give my energy to, currently.
I didn’t publish any writing last night because I was depressed and turned my phone off and I felt better before I went to bed, I swear I wrote pages on pages —but they are just for me. It’s okay to create and not share everything. It’s actually more than okay, it’s love. 
Nothing greater than love. 
One of the things I wish I could talk about here, I won’t. It doesn’t only involve me, so I can really bring it up. It’s about a kid and for the record, I felt really depressed about what happened at first but then I let that go because I know I have to trust his process. 
I won’t speak of my fears that I have for him because those have nothing to do with him. They are based on ot…

9:49PM — Undersharing is the Wave, Currently.

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Reluctant to share selfies because of the commitment I made to myself about substance but I love these and my students told me to post all of them because “You just so beautiful.” and “Your energy back up this week...” Sidebar: I used to hate how they don’t use is and are in their sentences. I didn’t realize, I actually do the same thing, until my brother pointed it out the other day. Does it make me sound less educated? Who cares? I really don’t care. I know who I am. As much as I teach my students how to speak standard English, I also want them to be totally comfortable speaking like themselves. 






















5:11PM on Calvert

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I walked into the yoga center thinking I was going to end my membership since I haven’t gone in over a month but I decided to give it one more go. I can do this. Training myself to incorporate new habits is as hard as getting my pup to not pee on the floor, even though he knows he’s not supposed to. Sometimes he just can’t hold it. What if we had to hold our shit in until someone took us out? Do we do that to ourselves by not doing what we need to do? I know yoga is my release. I need to be there. After all, I did say I was going to use physical activity to replace my talk-therapy sessions. I needed to stop seeking validation from my therapist and get in tuned with my inner voice. This summer, I learned, yoga allows me to do that naturally. 
9:47PM
My nail lady made me green tea before I even asked her to. She didn’t get me out until it was almost 7. Then, I headed to yoga, to cancel my membership. I was already an hour late and I realized in that moment:  my intentions are healthy but …

Sunday Planning Sessions

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Original Inspo for the Idea:
What if all the dope teachers in the city shared lesson ideas on sundays??? Like a twitter chat style ?? But I would have them post the lesson on their IG page and use the hashtag #sundayplanningsessions ... then, I could host the sessions in my classroom, and people pay like $20 to get in, to cover snacks, drinks, etc. ... would have to take it out of the classroom for that, actually. Can’t have wine in the classroom 😂

But I love this idea. Feels seamless....

Would you come to something like this? Would you want to cohost a session with me? Like maybe we could do a quick mini-lesson before the actual planning session begins?? Then each week rotate the guest teachers?? Could have my friends who I have always wanted to work with, like OGs like Chris Emdin and Vilson ...

I’ll plan this during my break and make it happen for 2019.
Attached to this week’s folder is “Creative Visualization” by Shari Gawain.


Ideas for your life book entries: page 87 can be conside…

Poem about Loving Myself

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making videos  that are just for me  to remind me  of how much  I have to love  about me  for no other reason  than to maintain  my self-awareness  aka my key to consistent  bouts of sanity.  I control my highs and lows  with little love notes to Self  like these.  Took almost four years of therapy for me to understand:  I cannot be effective in my service to the youth  if I am not pouring into  myself, intentionally and on a daily.
I am naked.  dry fro,  bare face,  in my granddad’s old hoodie.  I see no flaws,  even though I know what’s  behind that smile  and beneath those eyes lids  when they are closed too long.  But I study war no more.  I don’t look at myself  and self-loathe.  I self-soothe. Holla, “Yas queen!  You confident bish! You creative heaux! Be soft.  Be vulnerable.  Be carefree.” Because those  are the best parts of me, illuminating those  amplifies the light in me. 

Via IG: Biking

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To be a teacher with a mental illness is to implement specific daily routines in your life. After I was diagnosed in 2015, I sold my ‘97 vintage droptop BMW and began walking and biking everywhere. Ain’t had a car since and won’t be getting one (until I become a mom) ... why? Because fresh air on my face reassures me that I am alive... sometimes I cry on my walks home... sometimes I listen to the birds on my way to school... and sometimes, when my heels are too high, I Uber and ask the driver to play some classical piano forte... I learned to do this from experience. I had to teach myself what I like... I didn’t know any other black girls who lived in service of others that understood what it was like to wake up some days and not want to leave the house at all because the voices were so loud the night before that she got no sleep. I really thought I was alone. Journals filled with secret ruminations... confused and lost but at the same time, clear and found. Still, I knew no one else …

Photo Analysis PT 1

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The resilient wilted roses are my sunrise and moon-set. Life and death. Beautiful either way. That’s how’s this new generation of kids see things. Extremists. Why you think the suicide rate is up? 
The “A Note to Self Journal” was the anchor for my self healing; it prepared  my consciousness to do the work of healing myself before I serve the children. I ordered the one behind it for my partner. Heal together, flourish forever.
“It Didn’t Start with You” is my latest read. “Much of this book focuses on identifying inherited family patterns— the fears, feelings, and behavior we’ve unknowingly adopted that keep the cycle of suffering alive from generation to generation.” Every teacher must read this. And if you know me, you know I consider us all teachers, therefore, every human should read this. 


10:16PM

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NP: Blue in Green by Miles Davis
I love being able to write.  
I love being able to breathe slowly and smile at what I feel. 
I love knowing my timing is always perfect. 
I love starting over and making the old new and the new elevate and the elavation permenant. 
I love showing the journey of my healing.
I love seeing my peers growing with me. 
I love love. 
I love. 
I love. 

The Morning Routines of a Real One

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I used to be really good and strict with morning routines—and seasonal, at that, because I would change them as I needed. But now that I’m in love, it’s really been hard to maintain a daily routine.
After a summer of staying clear away from routines, I stepped into September with a desire to be organized. Here’s where I started. On the first day of school, I told myself, “I’m going to wake up early, meditate for 15 minutes, hit the gym for 15 minutes, read, write, and then go to school.” That would be my morning routine.
But it was hard to do all of them every morning and still be on time for work. Yesterday, I did do all of them, but today, I can only do one of them, which is create—I have to go write some lesson plans. This reminded me that just last week I had the idea to do one of them each day: running Monday mornings, art on Tuesday mornings, writing on Wednesday mornings, read on Fridays, sleep in on the weekends if I am not traveling. But today, I thought I could do all of them—…

Stuck in the Shade Room: On Sisterhood and Social Media

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Sunday, September 30th, 201811:07AMBrooklyn, NY
On the C with Meekz. Heading uptown to my granny’s. Suited in my baggy gray sweats, Meekz in her Nike yoga pants. We’re ready to work. Day two of decluttering the space that epitomizes a loss of love, on many levels. Won’t speak of that in this moment.The only aspect that makes the mentioning of this detail relevant is the fact that the people helping me through this are here because of the level of trust I have for them. I know certain parts of my life are safe with them. As vulnerable as I am with the world on social media, my friends still get way more than I give in blog and Instagram captions. I am grateful. 
Meekz has been one of my closest friends, since before I was able to truly define love, family, or friendship.
Little-known fact: my original groups of friends have never really shown me love via Instagram, for various reasons. I used to take it as cold and unsupportive, but I was never brave enough to question them about it, and …

Selfies with Substance

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There’s substance in my selfies: I looked up to “pretty” and “fly” girls when I was a kid. Had I seen them reading, I would’ve been a reader, too. I did see them all go to HBCUs — and so I was inspired to attend one, too. I wanted to be like them and they may or may not have known but as a young, relatable teacher in a 6-12, I am aware of what I represent to my teenage girls. The juniors and seniors at my school all read my blog and follow my social, they tell me they are proud of me when they see my accomplishments and they ask to borrow literature just so we can talk about the text together. That’s why I post my mirror pics and my books. The message is: you can say, “Yes, I think I’m cute and I’m smart as hell, too!”

The Bi-Polar Lady’s Secret

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Baltimore9:09 PM NP: Dunno — Mac Miller
What we speak on is what we become.  That’s why I stopped writing about the news.  Ignored it for as long as I could.  And believe me, after all I went through, ignoring it would’ve done me some good. 
What we speak on is what we love.  I can only always feel good if I remember this.  Space can’t be real if we are souls.  So we are. 
We speak what we be.  I is what I is.  Am what I am. 
Light. 



4:01PM for Facebook

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A year ago, I wrote an affirmation. Nothing more beautiful than seeing it go from a seed to a fully manifested bloom. I just paid off my Navient loan thanks to Instagram and Facebook lol this is not an AD— this is my gratitude for the recent ad opportunities that I have been afforded. When I wrote the affirmation I did not know how it would get done, I just knew I was going to do it. 
People say, social media is all drama and doesn’t pay the bills, tell them they are not using it right. And I don’t even like social media — y’all know this already; that is why I have an intern who does all of my posting and reads all of my messages. Otherwise, I would be distracted and annoyed by social media so much that I would delete all of my accounts. Empath problems lol ... but I can’t do that because I have a responsibility to share the teaching strategies and self-healing tools that I have learned throughout my journey. 
Anyways, I plan to have my fed loans paid off by the end of this school year…

Give Love

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Blah

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5:10PM

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4:54PM— NP: “Faith” -Cowode

Autumn feels. Perfect time for cowboy hats and sweats... grateful. Headphones in, doing my growth. Each of us has to listen to a song and describe our moods. Now kinda wish I would’ve assigned them a free write instead because I just want to flow — but I must stick to the topic at hand. Funny, all power is in my hands when it comes to assigning assignments ...but the power to do the actual work is in the pens of the youth. Lens for the youth. I share my stories to uplift their spirits. They share their love to uplift mine. Their love: comes in many shapes and forms. True gems. Multi-dimensional... Mood: I am so ready to fly. These last three weeks have been joy, unspeakable. Easy living. Teaching and sewing. Painting and singing. Jazzy words and sun-red phrases. My mood? I am so ready to fly. Butter pecan butterfly eyes, completely shut. wing span, unlimited. This is not a dream. I don’t have to wake up.

Newark — 6 Minutes of Blissing Out

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Laying my baby hair in the bathroom before I give my keynote ... I imagine I am in a back stage dressing room, channeling the energy of Lauryn Hill and Queen LaTifah and Whitney Houston and Sarah Vaughn. Ready to practice the art of reconstructing my personal narrative on yet another audience of my peers. Revealing excerpts from my traumatizing childhood, leaving their hearts hopeful, never helpless. 
The masses will hear my plight and understand that life only feels good because I say it feels good. 
My goal is to have everyone saying it! Affirming, “I feel good!” Forcing yourselves to believe until you mean.
But take your time with your process. I am here. On the other side, with the rest of the tribe, waiting for you. You belong here. 
All of you. 🌹🌹


Back to School. Back to Therapy

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I haven’t been to therapy in weeks, for the first time in almost 4 years. I felt like I was becoming too dependent on her validation of my ideas and choices... that feeling was beginning to flood my friendships... I was not listening to my inner voice, anymore... I sought answers from everyone else. I’m not saying this is therapy’s fault, I am saying, even when you seek help, dont forget the power of your true self... I’ll be back in therapy next week, though. I am ready to be heard without needing acknowledgement. I know that I am loved and valued, no longer neglected and ignored. 
Being away from work this summer slowed me down enough to realize I am fully healed... but during the school year, it is imperative that I attend my weekly sessions, not only for my sanity but for the emotional safety of my classroom. My self care allows me to love my students, even on days when I don’t have energy to love. Sometimes their actions trigger memories of my childhood-trauma. I used to lash out,…

Moment to the Sun

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What I am is the sun.We are one in the same. One. 
I breathe heavy exhales. 
Love to my left. My love to my right. 

1:06PM

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I killed her. Slow and deliberate death. No gun. No knife. No poison. She’s dead. The voice of fear that tried to destroy any chances of me living out my ancestors’ wildest dreams. Killed her with creativity. Killed her by pushing through, even when she was in my mirror screaming, “You are never going to get it right! How dare you think you, alone, are enough?!” I silenced her with yoga poses and mindfulness. Then, I sliced her throat with my pen. I read my way out. Wrote my way up. Worked my way here. I am healed. I spent this summer celebrating the resurrection of my highest self and I had the audacity to tell my therapist, “I am not depressed, anymore.” From the depths of her ebony, she said, “You found the cure: listening to all the voices and knowing the difference between which ones are guiding/protecting you and which ones are projections of the wounded version of you.” I know who I am. Soft smile, cozy sweats. Content in my bliss. If I claim to be light, that’s what you should…

1:01AM

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We are all looking at ourselves, without actually looking. 
Selfies show our physical appearance, we pour more energy into lowly facades, than our souls. 
Another mind-controlled generation. 
But what do I know?  I’m just a teacher.



The Tunnel Vision of the Introverted Creative

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A quality possessed by all introverted creatives is tunnel vision. 
Today, I walked by a woman I truly admire and did not speak. Not once but three times. Before you turn your nostrils into a flare, hear me out. 
I was in my head. 
I could write a long drawn out piece, detailing each separate encounter but then you would waste your time reading a story that would simply conclude with, I was in my head. 
What I often forget:  When I am in my head, I don’t see anything outside of it. This could mean people, places, or things. So many people have told me that I saw them and did not speak to them; my answer is always, “Really? I did not see you!” No lie. 
The more I read these books on children who are suffering from trauma, the more I understand how my own brain has been impacted by the same experience these books talk about ... so I won’t sit here and get down on myself about being rude today or any other day, because I know it was not intentional. 
And I won’t blame my mental “illness,” eithe…

Integrity

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When you find yourself turning down television shows because the network wants to exploit the lives of your students, you can truly smile, knowing you are doing the right work for the right reasons. Respectfully, I declined an offer that would’ve put me in a position that questioned my integrity. That offer taught me one thing: people see our struggle as a come up. I’m not with it. There’s always a better way, a greater opportunity is on the way. I am ready.



10:03PM

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Listen to the sound of the rain on a Tuesday night. It talks to itself, as if no one else is around. It makes you remember everything it brings up. Drops of memories. 
Overtime, you’ll forget how much you appreciate her. The way she smiles will be the gesture that brings you back. You’ll never leave her without a new reason to love you. You, Black man, bring her joy. 
Victorious and worthy. Two words that describe your heart. Strong enough to save a life. 
End the battle between yourself and your world the moment you denounce this as your world. It is not your world, it is your universe. You are infinite. Do not limit yourself. 



8 Norms for Teaching via IG Stories

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We have moments of power, where we say things with confidence ... but then we lose that confidence and forget what we said and even who we are. The beauty is that people hear us and come to us to remind us of our words just when we need them the most. 
Thank you to my mentee for posting these old words of mine.
Love always🌹🌹

A Sunday Morning

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10:42AM
Supposed to be But what is supposed to be
To be 
We all  Already are  Everything we  Were born 
To be

You are what you see  I see the light  I gaze and fall into the fire  I become  What I am supposed 
To be
I called my auntie  We talked and she talked some more And I listened  And we laughed  And I know she needed to hear my voice and I am so delicate when it comes to her religion  She’s old school  Bonafide  Westernized  Christian  Lost in the ways of the word Powerful on her own accord but gives glory to one outside of herself not realizing she is her Highest Self But she taught me 
To be
Strong in meditation Get up from my bed at 4:30am and say to myself  Breakthrough for breakfast  Read for a while and take a walk  And drink some water and  Listen to the quiet on the city on a Sunday morning Before everyone is up  Across the street from the methadone clinic In walking distance from the city jail  Free them all from themselves  Because no man can hold us down We are one  But some are blind  And some are afraid  No…

Via IG 8.16.18: Pain is One of the Hardest Addictions to Break

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Even your favs feel wack about their craft at times. Lately I’ve been feeling wack af. But idc. Imma keep creating and writing until I am satisfied. I know it’s because I’m in a new place in the grieving process: acceptance. With acceptance comes a peace and contentment I am not used to at all. 
My answer to everything lately has been: it’s all love, all is well. And I actually believe it! 
I looked at this picture of my parents this morning. I didn’t have a mom and dad, I was raised by two southern bred sisters, who made their way from NC to NYC. My gran and my great aunt, whom I call “ma” and “otha’ mama” ...one taught me how to talk sh’t and “neva’ let nobody get ova’” on me and the other taught me how to read, write, and pray. Family Matters and the Cosby Show had me growing up thinking we were dysfunctional. I wanted more than what I was given and was not understanding of the fact that I had everything I needed and we were good the way we were. 
Mental health needed to be addressed,…

Live: K. Fidel Releases Hummingbirds FROM the Trenches

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Baltimore 
7:44PM The rain that poured and roared about an hour ago over Charm City cleared up just in time for Kon to release, Hummingbirds in the Trenches ... but he is not simply releasing his book, he is opening the gates that have kept us hummingbirds in the trenches. Tonight, we are free.
7:51PM Typewriter flow. Left my journal home I feel naked. All good... this forces me to blog in the moment. Level up. 
The ambiance in Arena Players needs much work... I want to invest in this space, it’s too close to home for us to not take care of it. 
I don’t think we have ignored it, I think we don’t even realize what has become of it because we steady vibing out in it. When the grooves feel good, you don’t stop to notice it, you allow yourself to remain present and enjoy. 
7:55PM Desiis an amazing story teller. I recorded his set, plan to use it in the classroom, help the kids learn to tell oral narratives. Such an art. One of the many talents we, as a people, naturally covet. 
8:13PM Eddie Vanz is …