Someone Who Cares

Given the recent events of Robin Williams passing and some other notable people and that it is suicide prevention month  I’m re-sharing some friends of mine testimony of the effects of suicide and the taboo it has in the Black community. I hope it will help anyone who maybe going through hard times right now. Whether you have lost a loved one to suicide or have consider it. Your not alone and there are people who care and will listen to your concerns.

 

Soak Up the Sun

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In April I had the opportunity to travel to L.A. for the first time to celebrate my best friend’s birthday during Easter weekend. Not only was it special because of the holiday and it being her birthday but we also hadn’t seen each other in 6 years because of the distance between us. I had been praying for a vacation and the original plan was for her to come visit me in Atlanta but she was California dreaming. So I agreed to travel with her to L.A. and we met up there on the WEST SIDE at the Garden Suites Hotel off S Western Avenue located in Koreatown. The room we got was decent for a three star double occupancy. It was clean, quiet and provided the basics.The Garden Suites Hotel

 

The Garden Suites Hotel Room

The Garden Suites Hotel Room

We did some research on things to do prior to coming but had planned to be flexible enough to change our plans if needed be. We had tickets to Last Comedic Standing at the Improv Comedy club but we were in a time crunch as my friend’s arrival time was much later than mine and conflicted with the show time. When she arrived we rushed to the club only to find out we had missed the show; which was cool, because I don’t have cable anyway to view it when it airs, lol.

 

So instead of getting our laughs in, we went to a Mexican restaurant by the name of O across the street from the club. The ambiance was amazing and the server was professional and polite. She suggested some empanadas that were very delicious and very cheesy. Over all the O seemed like a very cool networking/date spot.

After we grubbed, jet lag kicked in and we made our way back to the hotel for the night. It wasn’t too hard getting up the next day because my body was still adjusted to east coast time and I woke up about 4am the next morning! Our plans for the day were for breakfast and the beach. The cool thing about Koreatown was its  mini downtown section in the neighborhood. When I arrived the day before, I wasn’t sure if I was in downtown Hollywood or if I was in a mini downtown similar to Atlanta having its own downtown, Midtown and Buckhead (which are 3 different sides of the city.).

I had to realize L.A., similar to ATL, that the city is fairly expansive and skyscrapers are not centralized to just downtown unlike my home town where town where it is a one stop shop. This is not so much the case in LA and ATL, although LA is bigger than both. And because of this finding a place to eat was easy to do. There was a Denny’s right around the corner that was decent and the staff was nice. This being so close to our hotel we had breakfast there the remaining days of our trip.

Santa Monica Pier

World Famous Santa Monica Pier

After catching a quick bite to eat, my bestie and I planned to head to the Santa Monica beach to soak up the sun and  find out what the hoopla was about and if we would see dancing and singing teenagers on the sand like a Frankie & Annette beach party flick. Most of the performers were on the famous pier.   We seen kids doing  Michael Jackson impressions, the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. and the famous pier Ferris wheel.

Most of the day we sat on the beach and talked which was really peaceful (except.. I had Sheryl Crow’s song  stuck in my head) but one thing I noticed that was not, were the way of the gansta seagulls! They were the most aggressive kind I’ve seen ever on a beach. They were stealing food off picnic plates, pooping on people and flying really low over us. I have to say they were more aggressive than any pigeons I’ve seen, they were ghetto. Lol. Make sure you bring a cooler for your food and umbrella to shield yourself from their poopy presents.

When we decided we could no longer compete for the beach with the birds we walked over to a local Segway shop only  to find out most of their supply was rent or uncharged. This wasn’t a totally let down because it actually gave us more time to take pictures and prepare for the evening’s schedule event of speed dating.

For my pal’s birthday we had agreed to do something new and different. That for us included speed dating with Date Switch, a speed dating service that I am sure is in a city near you. The event was at the 31 Ten Lounge in downtown Santa Monica, a very low-key venue pushed back off of Main Street. When we first arrived there were more women than men but after getting settled a few more men came to join us and help to balance thing out. Well, we were still short a few men but they helped.

TMZtourguideWe met some nice guys but the biggest thing I didn’t think about was how I was going to keep in contact with these new friends if the rules were we could not exchange information while at the event; so I pretty much told my fellow mini daters that I lived out-of-state and I chalked it up as an experience. And it was, I love how diverse Cali is and of course the weather is wonderful. Most of the people I met were nice enough with the exception of the occasional creepers but other than them I enjoyed my day.

Our next and last day we planned to visit the usual tourist spot and part take in the touristy activities. We took the TMZ tour and seen no one, lol. Our tour guide was still entertaining and I went on a search and found the star of Ms. Dorothy Dandridge. If you’re not sure who is just click her name. Also we ventured to Universal Studios to find out park ticket prices only to discover there is this whole city walk thing they have up there that is amazing!!!

Me in Cali trying out iFly. Simulation skydive

Me in Cali trying out iFly. Simulation skydive

Once we got up there we discovered this attraction called the IFly Hollywood which is a sky driving simulator. We had to take part in the fun. I think it was a great way to highlight our trip and our instructor was really nice too.  It’s a treat I would definitely do again.

Overall, I had a great time but not enough time. A trip to L.A.  needs to be at least a week to start. I know there was much more we didn’t get to before we left out but it was still worth the adventure. Hopefully the next time I visit it will be longer and I’ll get the chance to check out Randy’s Doughnuts and get on Let’s Make a Deal to meet my fictional boo thang Wayne Brady, maybe one day in my California dreams.

 

 

Until Next Time…

 

~Adventurous Daydreamer~

 

 

 

My Newest Hair Crush

So, I have a handful of hair crushes. Esperanza Spalding, Tanika Ray, and Leela James. Not to forget the youtubers I enjoy watching like Naptural85.  I also follow slate.com and I totally missed the debut of Tamron Hall’s natural do yesterday on the Today Show. However, don’t fear my blog timeline informed me of this exciting occasion– which is indeed exciting. I already love her pixie cut and thought there was no way her hair was natural because of its length. I didn’t think a naturalista could be versatile with short hair unless she added hair, like a wig or extensions of some kind. I am so excited by her bold choice because Tamron represents a Black beauty in mainstream media who isn’t afraid to show the world her hair God has naturally given her.

 

I remember in college as a communications major being encouraged by a Black female professor to consider straightening my hair if I wanted to be taken seriously as a news journalist. One of the things that attracted be to media as a profession was the freedom to wear comfortable clothing and my hair how I chose to  whether it be a huge afro or if it was steamed pressed straight given my mood that day. This is not to say Tamron was the first Black woman to wear natural hair on television or even on the news. Retired WSB-TV News Anchor Monica Kaufman Pearson in Atlanta rocked her hair a variety of styles including her natural well before Ms. Hall, I think the difference is at this time Ms. Hall has now done so on a  national platform and I would dare say global thanks to the internet and the Today Show being aired on NBC.

Well, she proved me wrong! I love that she wore her natural texture. She is just a beautiful woman in general but she has shown me I can rock it anyway I like and has definitely inspired me to cut mine short. Hopefully this will lead to more self love and acceptance in the media and throughout the professional world and within the Black community in regards to how we individually chose to wear our hair.

Photo courtesy today.com

Photo courtesy today.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s the original link to the story: http://www.today.com/style/tamron-hall-wears-her-natural-hair-first-time-tv-we-1D79860450

 

Until Next Time…

Adventurous Daydreamer

The Journey of a Naturalista

It’s been eleven years from when made the decision to go natural. And BOY let me tell you!!! It has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

The journey was tough, the grooming methods I used were rough, this was pre Curly Ms. Jessies’ Shea Moisture Solutions and YouTube, but one thing I can say is that I’m STILL KINKY!

Yes all day everyday fro fabulous! I wasn’t always so confident about my hair. I begged my mom for a relaxer after consistently dealing with two older bullies on the school bus, that nicknamed my sister and I nappy head 1 & 2 in elementary school . Saddest part was they were Black too but commentary on my reasons for getting a relaxer is a whole another post for another day. The purpose of this post  is to share why I made my return to natural hair and some of the lessons I learned along the way.

Transitional Back Story

One of my kinky strands

One of my kinky strands

After high school I had been flirting with the idea of going natural after years of scalp scabs from relaxed burns, hair shedding and not liking the look of my hair after washing it. Most of the time it was in flux trying to break free from the chemical matrix I put it in every six to eight weeks.

I believe there were some earlier experiences that influenced my decision prior to that  which influenced my decision including heavily into Neosoul music; this played a huge part in the shaping of this new hair identity. One conclusion which drew me into beginning an all natural idea of beauty.

My 9th grade Earth Science teacher was natural and somewhat tomboyish (she loved to wear sweat shirts and jeans so baggy MC Hammer would feel like a cast member of Lost or Survivor in them.) I’m the last person to hate on her Pirates of the Caribbean denim selection; (I don’t see why the Gap hasn’t jumped on that!) you can ask anyone close to me I opt for comfort in a heartbeat… I digress. I just remembered how a couple of my classmates were trying to figure out her sexual orientation and why she didn’t have a relaxed in her Lupita Grace Jones cropped do. Me, I really didn’t care how she dressed or whom she slept with, what I admired most was the fact that she was a smart Black woman comfortable in her skin.

I remembered that class being incredibly hard (especially after it married with math) but I enjoyed it and learned so much until she had to go on maternity leave in the middle of the school year and we got this horrible sub for the remainder of the spring semester. That was the end of my scientific interests. Sad, I know.

Needless to say, I though she looked pretty with her hair in a TWA. Plus, I had India telling my skin was beautiful, Jill showing naturalists could be sexy, and Lauryn schooling me on how to save some money on my beauty regimen by keeping it real.

So when I decided to do that big chop in Dec. of ’02’ in the birthplace of the quick weave, I had plenty of motivation. Plus a guy I liked told me not to cut my hair because men like women to look “soft” and in a in a fit of feminist rage that too fueled my rebellion to get it all snipped off allow my ebony protein to drift toward the white linoleum salon flooring.

That for me the beginning of the side way comments from White co-workers and Black creamy crack addicts. Not to mention one relaxed diva who challenged my young sensibilities by telling me I wouldn’t last very long being natural as she had unsuccessfully tried, crashed and burned. The journey also included criticism from my mother, temptations to compare my length, texture and color to other women and that nagging temptation the dark and lovely diva must have dealt with even after my move to Atlanta.

And since we are on the subject of Atlanta, part of this fabulous journey takes place in the South. Hotlanta as it is affectionately called down in these parts, though the weather that produced the #SnowJam2014 hasn’t supported this appellation lately, has played a huge part in my growth of hair acceptance. I promise, every time one of those tempting thoughts popped up to relax Sheba (my afro) I would get a random compliment whether it be a stranger or friend. Furthermore, when I moved here a year later after my transition I seen so many naturalistas I was quick to turn in my #teamnatural application.

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During my process I took part in wearing wigs, which I still enjoy, add-on pony-tail pieces, head bands/head wraps/scarves, braid extensions ( I have a full on love affair with theses thanks to Brandy!), and weave. No prejudice here about rocking bought hair. It’s still mine, because I paid for it. However, I don’t believe I need it. My beauty is more than skin deep and truly knowing this is so freeing! Also, my process in going natural has developed a desire for me to become more holistic in other areas of my life affecting my choice in beauty products and food.

Really this ended up and STILL is my journey towards healthy self-love and acceptance. Don’t compare, you can love what you have going on and still rock fake hair, block the negative comments and self talk. This is a love walk. Whether your hair is naturally bone strait or cloud fluffy there is nothing better than when you, love you for you. naturally.

Until next time…

~Adventurous Daydreamer~

The Time Traveling Sun Chaser

At times. I wonder.
What it would be like…
To chase the sun.

But then I realize…
I do.
Each time I look to the past.

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Like my Haiku. :o)

My point is, why do we live in the past? In some other part of the world right now there are people already living in the future (like people who live in Australia) and maybe that’s where my attention should be fixed (looking ahead is something I am always doing anyway). The only problem with that line of thinking is that we miss the moments that happens right now. The ones that are taking place at this hour, at this very minute (which can be a true challenge for a dreamer).

Perhaps the answer is living in the now with a dash of expectancy while learning from the zest of the past. If I only knew how to do this consistently and mass produce it I’d be a rich woman.

I mean I definitely like to look back which is why I journal in the first place. I think it is good to know where you come from to know where you’re going. I just at times get stuck when my flux capacitor is acting up and I have to call Sam to help me out with a leap back to the future. :o) More action less dreaming for this year, which is why I attended a networking even last week and I made someone good contacts, now I need to work on my follow up! One Twilight Zone at a time my friends.

Until next time…

Adventurous Daydreamer

Happy!!! Blah… Blah… Blah…

You know the deal. So, we usually set goals, long, short and all that jazz. Not that I haven’t set any this year but I feel like the ones I have for this year are a continuation of the goals I set last.  I still plan to exercise consistently, eat better, travel more, and work towards getting out of debt and get a full-time job in the production industry (God willing). I have chosen to be positive about my life, regardless of my current situation, including my current underemployment and non-existent dating life.  I am not complaining, just making an observation.

So, let’s talk specifics.  Last year was CRAY-CRAY but I learned so much about myself. I unplugged my TV for the year; well, I briefly watched it during Thanksgiving, the gym and at other people’s houses… (DON’T YOU JUDGE ME!), moved away from my obnoxiously loud neighbors, loss an old friend while learning a lesson on why I value my boundaries, and finished some unfinished business. One that included my completion of Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University class, part of a promise I made a few years ago. I’ve done quite a bit last year and I look forward to the goals that I will complete this one. 

 

Next on deck, working on my networking skills. I am terrible with following up but I plan to attend some upcoming networking events that will help me in conquering this short coming and finishing more of my goals for my photography business. I’m also planning to take another trip this time to the islands! I’m having beach withdrawals, so we shall see. So no funny antidotes this post but maybe next time I’ll share about my sexual fantasy exercise I took part in last year. Very funny and awkward.

 

Until Next Time,

~Adventurous Daydreamer~