Running around in circles…

Hey Blog! How ya been?

I’ve been good. Making changes. You know what they say…the only constant is change. I’ve climbed some hills, hit some brick walls and just lived.

I miss writing, so I’m back. I guess this is what happens when you follow the advice of doing what you love for a living. I write all the time, for a living, in someone else’s voice, on someone else’s vision. It becomes a chore. But I miss getting everything that is swirling around in my head – out.

And there is so much in there. Revolution. Love. Friendship. Anger. Hurt. Depression. Growth. Questions.

Can I share me with you? Is anyone reading this? Does it even matter?

I’m still just looking for the same thing…to be seen. to be heard. to be…to be…me.

Just do me a favor and say my name.


What doesn’t kill us

I nearly died.

It all started when I woke up one morning with a tiny bug bite. And it almost ended for me nearly three weeks later on the floor of my bathroom and all of the stuff in the middle can be summed up by one word: chaos.

Somewhere along the way an urgent care doctor, fearing that an out of control spider bite had become a MRSA infection, prescribed me a sulfa based antibiotic and sulfa based cream (on top of the antibiotic I was already taking). And guess what? Like a whole shit ton of other people in the world, I am allergic to sulfa.

After 4 days I developed a high fever, and by high I mean 104. I saw a different urgent care doctor who said that I had a virus OR a UTI (which made no sense since the antibiotic I was taking is most commonly prescribed for the treatment of UTIs) – so cool..they went with I had a virus. I should continue the antibiotics I was on and just take tylenol till I’m over the virus. Oh and drink fluids.

I was sent off on my way, only to experience violent chills and roller coaster temperatures. 3 days later I woke up with a rash ALL OVER MY BODY. Back to urgent care I went. The doctors just kinda looked at me crazy. “It can’t be the sulfa” they said, since at this point I’d been taking it for 6 days. They gave me a benadryl shot and the rude ass rash laughed. So they gave me a steroid shot. It calmed things down for a second so they took me off the sulfa “just in case” and sent me home with more steroids. It was gonna get better they assured.

That night I got 1 hour of sleep. The next day I was even more sick, still had a fever and MISSED Bey and Jay Z at the Rose Bowl, a concert that I had waited ALL summer (ALL MY LIFE) to see.

At this point I had a high fever, a rash ALL over my body, I’m on a high dose of steroids, i’ve had no sleep AND I’m depressed. Great. It can’t get worse than this right???


After another night of tossing and turning and NO sleep I get out of the bed to use the bathroom and lose all control of my limbs. It was a slow motion decent. One minute I was washing my hands and the next minute I was catching my body with my face against the bathroom floor. There is this weird moment when you fall where you think to yourself “oh shit I’m on the floorrrr. I should get up!” – well I’m here to tell you don’t listen to that bitch. You can’t get up.

I fell AGAIN. I couldn’t scream and my love didn’t hear either of those tumbles. So, I made a third attempt. This time I fell out of the bathroom, hit a fan, army crawled to the sofa. Blah.

I ended up back in urgent care on the side of the facility that just looks like the ER. My doctor said some stuff about having a severe dermatological emergency and calling an infectious disease doctor.(At this point I was convinced I was dying for sure) There were bags of fluids. LOTS of tubes of blood. An ultrasound. Finally they say it’s definitely the sulfa.

2 days later the fever finally broke. One day after that the rash disappeared.

And now… the pain has set in. The excruciating joint pain. The pain in my torso that feels like my organs are trying to get out of my body. The headache. I feel fatigued from being alive.

I’m just happy that my liver wasn’t damaged, that my kidney’s didn’t fail, and that my lungs were never impacted.

I have no idea how long I will be in pain. But, I know that being alive means something so different for me today than it did 3 weeks ago. More on that later. I still have doctors appointments to go to, I have life to try and restart.

Black Girls are Magic

There is a special magic about seeing yourself in the face and experience of those closest to you.

I didn’t learn this until I moved to California and found a new joy just in seeing other black people ,who always acknowledged me when they passed as if it had been days since they last seen black people. Driving to South LA became a favorite adventure, turning down random streets off Crenshaw or Adams. I would even deliberately put off shopping until I could go to the Vons by USC. It seems odd now, but living on the Eastside meant I was the only “negrita” in sight in my neighborhood (although most often not the darkest person around..but that’s a different discussion). 

Those days have passed and I see black people all day everyday now – on the train, at work and in my neighborhood in the valley. 

Just this week, however, I realized how important it is to not just see my people but to have friendships with them as well… specifically the importance of black girl friendships. (I’m finally starting to get over my struggles.

Black girl friendships are magical. Spending time with people who grab your hand and pray before you eat (even though our beliefs may not add up), friends who know all the words to the songs on your 90’s R&B playlist (and sing them loudly with you in the office or while driving down the 405), who have the same immediate reactions to things like police and confederate flags, who are both infuriated and use to street harassment in the form of “nice” compliments, who can understand black girl pain around skin and hair and bodies.  

And that’s not to say that black girl friendships are more important than my friendships with anyone else. I like the diversity of my friendships. It’s the same as the need to have queer friends, because I am queer and I need to see my reflection in that way too. Or to have movement friends that “get” this struggle we’re in. It’s the same, but amplified. 

I was raised by black women. Lots of them. There is a special magic in friendships with people who look like the first women who loved me unconditionally, who told me I could be or do anything I wanted to be, who told me I was beautiful.  

That common experience of the world makes life feel lighter. I can laugh and joke without worrying about someone making an off color joke that they think is ok because we’re friends. We don’t “check our privilege”. We throw code switching to the wind. We laugh loud and dance to our own music (on beat of course). We talk about trauma and racism and discuss the black power movement and revolution. And nobody can tell us a damn thing. 

Black girls are everything.. and I’m so happy to have more of them in my life these days. <3 

[insert most emo black girl friendship video I can find] 

Getting Prepared

I keep hearing that you aren’t really grown until you are 30. Or that your “Jesus Year” (33) is the year that your life changes. 

I don’t know if either of these things are true…although it would be nice to know that all of the craziness of my 20’s and all the bad and impulsive decisions I’ve made in my 20’s can all be blamed on not yet being a grown up. 

Let’s go with that. Yeah, nothing was my fault, I was just a kid.

Things already seem to be going in the right direction for my soon to be grown up years. I feel like all of my karmic debts have been paid in the love and work departments and I love my city.

But, I am excited to see what happens next. I already feel a shift. Friends that I’ve known forever and relied on in my times of need are fading away. Old friends that I’ve lost contact with are resurfacing. New friends are around every corner (if I can get over my jaded friend feelings and put the time in that it takes to maintain new friendships). I’ve found myself looking forward to getting better instead of looking for something better. I’ve learned to love me, even if I haven’t always liked me. 

30 is still 13 months away. So much can happen in 13 months. 

I wonder who I’ll be when I get to the other side. Hopefully still me..just with better flavor. 



Bring it.

Happy 2014!! For the last few days every time I have tried to write the year it has come out as 2015 and I don’t know what that means…maybe I am just eager to get to my 30th birthday or maybe deep down inside I know that 2014 is going to be so busy that I just want to skip to the safety of a non-election year. Who knows. 

I had the last two weeks off and I am so well rested! It’s kind of weird to have slept so much. I don’t think I’ve felt exhausted or even tired this entire time…and I even completely cut myself off of caffeine. (Someone should start a pool..I’m sure there is some money to be won over when I’ll be Starbucks dependent again). Other than sleep, I had a lot of time for reflection on the past year. SO MUCH TIME TO REFLECT!! 

Don’t worry, this isn’t where I start listing off all of the things that I learned, what I’m thankful for, what I lost. This is just where I say that there has been so much change in my life in the last year that I’m just so happy about…and that I’m still trying to wrap my head around. Oh, and that somethings are still the same and I’m happy about that too. 

On January 1, 2013 I woke up and probably was just sad as fuck that I had to go to work at that scary place that kinda felt like the zombie apocalypse. On January 1, 2014 I woke up to a text from my boss saying this year will be fun followed by a bunch of emojis and then I went to the beach with my boo. 

I have so much to celebrate in 2014…a new found understanding of the need for sleep, self-care and self-love…a deeper and better relationship with my love that is my favorite work in progress…being accepted into a leadership program that is scary and cool all at once… and a shit ton of motivation and ideas about how to change the world. 

I also have a new found appreciation for the SoCal weather as I watch my hometown deal with -100 temperatures. (Stay Classy STL!)

I’m ready for you 2014…Bring it! 



Domestic Terrorism (or When working with people suffering from unchecked privilege)

I have a coworker ,who I basically can’t stand, decide she wanted to share her thoughts about “12 Years a Slave” with me.

PSA: If you are a Non-Black person don’t bring up slavery. Don’t tell me I need to see a movie about slavery. Don’t tell me how eye-opening the movie was (because did you fucking think slavery was a cake walk before you saw this movie?) Whatever you do..don’t say any of the shit this white skinned, light eyed Latina said to me.

Here are the highlights:

“OMG Slavery was so terrible” – BITCH REALLY? You just figured that out? SHUT UP!

“I’m glad my ancestors are from South America instead of the South..I couldn’t take it if my ancestors owned slaves” – WHAT? Do I need to draw you a map of where they dropped my people off? I replied that there were slaves in South America too.. especially in Brazil where her mom was from. This chick was like “oh yeah race relations are still bad there” and then told me that her dad’s people were somewhere in a jungle during that time. WAIT a second though, you remember a few lines ago I said she was pale skinned with light eyes right… I wanted to stand on my desk at this point and ask her how she got so damn light if her ancestors weren’t somewhere raping people and if she thought that they prob were also holding others captive..but I didn’t.

Oh and how dare you sit across from me and play that “glad that wasn’t my family” bullshit to a person who walks this earth EVERYDAY as the product of both Slave and Slave Owner? How the fuck do you think I feel?

“it was nothing like Django…at least at the end of Django all the white people got blown away” – You wanted a happy ending to a slavery movie? This is where I started to cry on the inside. She wanted a happy ending to a movie about slavery y’ she was DISAPPOINTED that there was no happy ending. Can we get a happy ending in real life from those hundreds of years? No? Ok.

I am still feeling some type of way about all of this. The last place I thought I would have to have this idiotic and insensitive conversation was at my office full of women and people of color who have dedicated their lives to fighting and healing oppression. I work with all of these people who GET IT..and one idiot who has no idea what IT is. She’s a narcissistic liberal in the  middle of a sea of over achieving revolutionaries.

This is a fucking assault on my sanity. This along with an incident where I was portrayed as irrationally angry and called “rowdy”. On top of being constantly bombarded with her name dropping and high-fiving herself and her white liberal feelings about Trayvon or her son’s school dressing him in a head dress or how she had a hard time getting her white ass boyfriend into some baptism because the lady at the front door thought they were tourists.

I thought I was working in a safe space..not an environment where I would have to watch people throw around their unchecked privilege and I refuse to make it part of my job to call someone else out on their shit EVERYDAY.


I’ll get through this though… just keep focusing on the work I tell myself. Just keep swimming.

The Gospel Truth

I’m not a religious person.

I never talk about the beliefs I do have…I don’t discuss what, who, how I believe. To me, your spiritual beliefs are for you and whatever you do or do not believe in. I may have “your silence will not protect you” tattooed across my flesh…but that is one place I wish everyone in the world would be silent about. Just believe what you believe and go.

So what am I blogging about? Well, I find it very … interesting… amazing…how deeply gospel music touches me. I know that religion is the only thing that got my ancestors through slavery and Jim Crow and the Civil Rights Movement and now. It was so necessary to lean on something larger than us, higher than those who push us down (even though the ones holding us captive gave us this religion to keep us from our full potential.) Gospel music just feels like black music to me, the music to our struggle.

Sometimes I envy those who can  just… “put your problems in his hands” and be complete and whole and without worry because they believe that there is one deity taking care of it all.

I don’t have that feeling everyday, but for the brief moments when I stumble into a gospel song on one of my Spotify RnB radio stations.. I feel like a weight is lifted the way I feel a weight is lifted when my grandmother says she prayed for me (bc just because I’m not ride or die with her God..doesn’t mean I don’t need a little extra help if there is help to be had)

Or, maybe gospel music touches me because there are people other than God that I can apply them to.. songs I could have written about my mother or grandmother.

Whatever it is…I’m glad for it. Even if it means I’m sitting on my couch crying to Marvin Sapp….we never would have made it, as a people, without this feeling.